May 22, 2017

BLOG: Leading the sustainability journey thumbnail image

Consumers today want their fruit and vegetable ingredients to tick all the boxes for quality products, with clean and clear labelling, sustainable credentials and traceability.

Is it too much to ask? We don’t think so. As we’re owned by a farming co-operative, the Royal Cosun group, we consistently pursue sustainable agricultural practices. Sustainability is one of our key strengths and we have a passion for nature that comes out in our business, too. It is through this vision and close relationships with our farmers that we can produce fruit and vegetable purees and concentrates that will later appear in consumer products of the highest standard.

So how do we make sure we are as sustainable as possible? We see long-term social and economic values, and environmental benefits, as integral to our business, and training our farmers in agronomy and sustainable practices is key to that. Vegetable crop rotation, for example, helps to maintain a nutrient balance in the soil, making sure the fruit and vegetables flourish and produce long-term yields. Some of our farmers even go the extra mile and apply flower planting schemes that stimulate crop pollination, while simultaneously reducing the pest population. This not only helps minimise the use of insecticides, it also increases the local bee population – keeping everyone happy.

Our commitment to efficient supply chain management means we’re always working to drive efficiencies both on the farm and in our facilities that enhance sustainable value creation. For instance, we promote integrated pest management (IPM) schemes which encourage natural pest control mechanisms and minimize disruption to agro-ecosystems. That’s complemented by careful water management, which is achieved through efficient irrigation practices. We also try to reduce the amount of energy necessary for processing fruit and vegetables, by doing this at source. This benefits not only the environment, but everyone’s pockets too.

But sustainability is more than just a commercial need for us – it is an essential responsibility. Our efforts have even earned us a prestigious EcoVadis gold ranking. We like to keep good company, not just with the farmers, but with members of organisations such as the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) platform and Juice CSR. They’re as committed to sustainability as we are, and together we’re working towards more efficient farming practices in the industry. We work hard to make sure we give something back, whether this is through the land, the soil, our people or our farmers. For a brighter, more environmentally friendly future.

To find out more about our trustworthy sustainability practices that reduce the impact of our business on nature and society, and how our fruit and vegetables have added value, contact us.

Jobien Laurijssen,  SVZ Sustainability Manager

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