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COEXPHAL and PROEXPORT request EU support for circular economy in fruit and vegetable sector

COEXPHAL and PROEXPORT request EU support for circular economy in fruit and vegetable sector
Photo: Proexport

The Association of Organisations of Producers of Fruits and Vegetables of Almería (COEXPHAL) together with the Association of Producers-Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables of the Region of Murcia (PROEXPORT) have applied to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) for funds to set up a project with an estimated budget of €69 million aimed at advancing the sustainability of the fruit and vegetable sector in south-eastern Spain.

This Expression of Interest brings together a series of innovation and investment initiatives with defined objectives. These include promoting the circular economy in the entire fruit and vegetable value chain by reducing environmental footprints, helping to mitigate climate change by reducing the carbon footprint, contributing to the decarbonisation of the economy, improving biodiversity in the fruit and vegetable environment – in the production and marketing of fruits and vegetables – and guarantee the activity with the protection and improvement of the use of water.

To achieve this, the presented project includes three major measures:

  • Collect information on the technologies available for said objectives such as the recovery of waste, water, reduction of environmental footprints, energy, biodiversity, etc., and create a tool to enable the companies and cooperatives of both associations to obtain a diagnosis as a starting point.

  • Promote a set of research and innovation projects aimed at implementing the circular economy in the fruit and vegetable value chain, especially in the field of plant by-products and waste, as well as in water.

  • Influence an innovative investment by companies in available technologies to reduce environmental footprints and investments in technologies and biotechnologies generated in the project itself: recovery of waste, purification and reuse of water, revegetation of the agricultural environment and development of smart labels.

This Circular Economy Expression of Interest, promoted by COEXPHAL and PROEXPORT, has the support of the Almería Chamber of Commerce and the Sustainability Area of ​​the Almería City Council.

Expressions of Interest are an instrument for identifying projects that point towards two of the four axes on which the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish economy acts. The Spanish Recovery Plan, inspired by the Climate Change Agenda, the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, will receive €72 million in the next three years from the Next Generation EU Recovery Fund, approved by the European Council on July 21.

 

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San Telmo and Ecoembes unite for a sustainable future

San Telmo and Ecoembes unite for a sustainable future

San Telmo Business School, which trains senior managers of consumer goods companies has teamed up with and Ecoembes, a non-profit environmental organisation that coordinates the recycling of packaging throughout Spain, in an alliance to jointly promote the role of companies in creating a circular economy, as well as to identify possible public-private collaboration strategies for the same purpose.

Both institutions promote the added value that sustainability brings to companies in Spain to satisfy consumer demand. Thus, within this alliance, various practical sessions will be held, along with round tables with leading CEOs, traveling classrooms and tailor-made projects for specific companies. A key event will be a discussion titled: “Public-private collaboration as a boost to the Circular Economy”, which will feature, from the San Telmo Business School, Enrique Garrido, and the CEO of Ecoembes, Óscar Martín.

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GRI promotes circular economy

GRI promotes circular economy

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has launched a Business Leadership Forum (BLF) on the circular economy and waste reporting. The GRI is an independent international organisation that helps businesses, governments and other organisations understand and communicate their sustainability impacts. The BLF has been set up to answer crucial questions concerning the measurement and reporting of waste prevention, as well as how to take advantage of the opportunities presented by circularity.

 

The aim of the BLF is to provide expert guidance and peer learning, bringing together a small group of business executives for a series of interactive sessions over the coming year. The BLF will involve a series of webinars, open to individuals who register by 14 August, plus an in-person meeting in the US, scheduled for next summer.

Topics set to be covered include circularity trends, mapping waste impacts in the value chain, circularity measurement methodologies, company case studies and ways to make the most of the GRI Waste Standard, which was launched in May.

Tim Mohin, chief executive of GRI, said, “The GRI Waste Standard enables companies to critically assess waste generation, raise ambition for circularity and be a driver for improvement. This is about fundamentally challenging the perception of waste, from an unwanted residue to a valuable resource.”