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Food Chain Partnership in the Netherlands

Bayer: Food Chain Partnership in the Netherlands

The Bayer Exhibitor Forum focused on responsible food production and the main challenges facing the fresh produce sector along the path to a more sustainable future. 

 

During the recent Bayer Exhibitor Forum, held at Fruit Logistica, Berlin, Frank Terhorst, head of crop strategy and portfolio manager at Bayer Crop Science, stated that innovation and digitalisation are the company´s key pillars for sustainable production. Bayer’s mission is to deliver world-class innovation as a pioneer in digital transformation and setting new standards of sustainability through tailored solutions. Among the firm’s sustainability commitments, the most outstanding ones are: reducing field greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, decreasing the environmental impact of crop protection by 30%, and empowering smallholder farmers to access sustainable agricultural solutions. With a firm commitment to the fresh produce sector, Bayer is dedicated to developing innovative solutions for horticulture production, driving digitally enabled tailored solutions for farms, and further enhancing food chain activities beyond the farm. “The Food Chain Partnership business model provides sustainable crop solutions to growers worldwide,” said Terhorst.

An eye on the future 

One of the biggest challenges on the global scale is the constantly growing demand for food due to the increasing population, which places a huge pressure on the planetary ecosystem. Hunger, malnutrition, obesity and diabetes are also playing important roles. As a potential solution, Ernst van den Ende, managing director of the Plant Sciences Group at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, proposes a second “green revolution”, which brings new diets supported by healthy lifestyle principles, along with environmental care, good agricultural practices, and nutritional crops, but also with more severe parameters for food safety and ecology. 

Nowadays, farm fields are one of the biggest contributors of CO2, after the coal and gas industries. That is why Dutch science journalist Hidde Boersma thinks it is necessary to use less surface area for agricultural purposes while producing more. “We should return land to nature,” said Boersma, who argues for a form of ecomodernism based on the belief that intensive agriculture, large-scale urbanisation, and investments in high-tech clean energy are the best ways to become a prosperous green planet.

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Sainsbury’s commits to £1 billion to become Net Zero by 2040

Sainsbury's commits to £1 billion to become Net Zero by 2040

UK retailer Sainsbury’s has issued a pledge that its operations will become Net Zero in line with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement, and a decade ahead of the UK Government’s own target. The project will focus on reducing carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging, water usage and increasing recycling, biodiversity and healthy and sustainable eating    Sainsbury’s will work collaboratively with suppliers and will ask suppliers for their own carbon reduction commitments. 

According to a press release issued by the retailer, its current carbon footprint is one million tons, which is a 35% absolute reduction in the last 15 years despite its space increasing by 46% over the same time frame. For the last six years Sainsbury’s has been awarded an A rating for taking action on Climate Change by the CDP, the highest rating of any UK supermarket.

Sainsbury’s will use the £1 billion investment to implement a programme of changes, with a focus on reducing carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging and water usage and increasing recycling, biodiversity and healthy and sustainable eating. The investment will enable the business to fulfil Scope one and Scope two emissions, putting the business on course for Net Zero a decade ahead of the UK government’s deadlines. 

The retailer will work with the Carbon Trust to assess emissions and set science-based targets for reduction, publicly reporting on progress every six months. The targets will align the business with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement. Sainsbury’s will work with suppliers to set their own ambitious Net Zero commitments, in line with the Paris Agreement goals.

Mike Coupe, now former CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “Our commitment has always been to help customers live well for less, but we must recognise that living well now also means living sustainably.  We have a duty to the communities we serve to continue to reduce the impact our business has on the environment and we are committing to reduce our own carbon emissions and become Net Zero by 2040, ten years ahead of the government’s own targets, because 2050 isn’t soon enough. We have a strong heritage of reducing our carbon emissions – we have reduced them by 35% over the past fifteen years despite the footprint of our business increasing by over 40%. We invested £260 million in over 3,000 initiatives over the last decade, including the start of our LED lighting programme and refrigeration. Over the next 20 years we will invest a further £1 billion in programmes that will transform the way we do business and put environmental impact at the forefront of every decision we make.”

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Edeka to stock citrus with Apeel technology

Edeka to stock citrus with Apeel technology, credit. yisris, Flickr
Source: Flickr

 

The Edeka Group is extending its commitment to fighting food waste by using the innovative “Apeel” technology not just to protect its avocados but also oranges and clementines. Apeel produce has a protective layer consisting of plant-based materials that slow down water loss and penetration by oxygen – two main factors contributing to decay of fresh fruit and vegetable products.

Apeel reduces food waste and makes plastic foil unnecessary for packaging many products. Edeka is the trading partner of US-based Apeel Sciences and launched avocados with Apeel’s protective coating at selected stores at the end of 2019.

Oranges and clementines are now following suit as part of the pilot project. In the future, Apeel’s plant-derived protective coating will also ensure longer-lasting freshness of Edeka WWF oranges (1.5 kg bag), Edeka Selection oranges “NavelGold” (1 kg bag), and EDEKA Selection “ClemenGold” clementines (750 g bag).

The Apeel-protected oranges, clementines and avocados will be available in selected Edeka stores in parts of northern Germany and North-Rhine Westphalia, as well as at Netto branches in parts in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony. The project foresees nationwide roll-out of these longer shelf-life products in Germany during 2020.

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Chile puts people at the heart of sustainability policy

Chile puts people at the heart of sustainability policy, Ronald Bown, president of ASOEX
Ronald Bown, president of ASOEX

 

“Sustainability has to be based on a long-term vision and the commitment has to be institutional, which is why our association has defined it as a policy,” said Ronald Bown, president of ASOEX. “This means strengthening at all levels, internally and externally, everything that has to do with food safety and security, but always putting people at the centre, especially consumers and workers.” The concept of sustainability that guides the actions of the Chilean agricultural sector is a commitment to society, the environment and the economic viability of businesses, with special emphasis on the people involved in the process to ensure that workers perform their functions without harming others and consumers benefit from a product that is reliable and has complied with internal regulations, especially those relating to the workplace. “For us, social sustainability has three key sides: the consumer (linked to safety), workers, and the community,” said Bown.

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Two Major Innovations for Ecofriendly Exotic Fruit and Vegetable Packaging

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

Action on plastic pollution: an environmental emergency

According to an Ellen MacArthur Foundation study, “the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).” In response to that environmental emergency, the Environment and Community Ministry launched France’s National Plastics Pact on 21 February 2019.

 

Target: 60% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in 2022 and 100% in 2025.

 

In the exotic fruit and vegetable sector, plastic packaging is a pressing issue that raises the challenge of developing eco-friendly solutions from the packaging to the labelling whilst maintaining the quality and traceability of fresh produce.

The company CAPEXPO is now making its contribution with two major innovations in exotic fruit and vegetable packaging and labelling, beating the official target by two years!

 

INNOVATION #1 

EXOTIC FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRINTING

The patented process, which CAPEXO owns for France, makes it possible to print food-grade ink on the skin of almost all fruit and vegetables, adding a barcode, price or any other consumer information. The innovation heralds the end of excess plastic packaging and stickers for exotic fruit and vegetables and more. 

All exotic fruit and vegetables with a relatively smooth skin can be printed. Pineapple, for example, cannot. Grainy-skinned avocado can, but a barcode would not be legible enough to work properly at the checkout. It is possible to print the sale price, however. The printing process also adapts to the fruit’s ripeness to avoid any possible damage. 

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

Food safety guaranteed 

The process involves patented, quality-tested food-grade inks — the same ones used in the pharmaceutical industry to coat tablets. 

End of checkout shrinkage

In store, on-fruit printing avoids the problem of differentiating between, for example, an air-freighted and seaborne mango, which have different sale prices, at the supermarket checkout. The process removes all possible confusion as either the barcode or price is shown on each individual fruit.

INNOVATION #2

BIOCOMPOSTABLE PUNNET PACKAGING 

Ready to eat fruit sold in batches, such as ripe avocadoes or air-freighted bananas, needs punnet packaging to protect it and prevent checkout shrinkage. To replace the plastic film and punnet, which are at best recyclable, CAPEXO biocompostable packaging features cardboard sourced from sustainably managed birchwood forests, wrapped in a protective transparent film, which is also derived from birchwood, and heat-sealed on a flow-pack machine. That makes the punnet packaging fully biocompostable. Corn starch-based biocompostable films are already available. As they may not be 100% GMO-free, however, CAPEXO rejected that option as a precautionary measure. 

Home composting 

End consumers can throw the punnet and film away in their home compost bin, where they will naturally degrade in the same way as other compostable waste. Failing which, the packaging can be disposed of in a recycling bin.

Punnet traceability maintained 

CAPEXO biocompostable packaging enables ecofriendly product traceability with a batch number, origin, best-before date and all other information required by consumers using foodgrade ink.

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

About CAPEXPO

Founded in 1996, the company CAPEXO imports and markets exotic fruit and vegetables in France under the Lilot Fruits brand. A key player at Rungis International Market, CAPEXO provides a constant supply of delicious and nutritious produce to wholesalers and the wholesale markets as well as specialist (Grand Frais, Métro, etc.) and generalist (Carrefour, Casino, Monoprix, etc.) food retailers. 
Sharing the same high standards as its suppliers, CAPEXO selects produce from the finest sources. The company works closely with one of Reunion’s biggest cooperatives. 90% of the island’s air-freighted fruit is exported by Lilot Fruits. 
Victoria pineapple, avocado, mango, passionfruit, lime, etc. are just some of CAPEXO’s flagship products.

Source: Press release
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Apeel & Nature’s Pride debut longer-lasting produce to fight food waste in Europe

Apeel & Nature’s Pride debut longer-lasting produce to fight food waste in Europe

 

Apeel Sciences, a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and Nature’s Pride, a leading supplier of produce in Europe with a focus on innovation and sustainability, have announced that Apeel avocados are now on store shelves in Europe. As Apeel’s supply partner in Europe, Nature’s Pride has integrated the Apeel solution across its expansive avocado value chain to bring Apeel avocados to EDEKA and Netto in Germany, and Salling Group stores Føtex and Bilka in Denmark.

“Approval of Apeel’s technology in Europe demonstrates the European Commission’s commitment to addressing our planet’s massive food waste crisis, which is now understood to be a top contributor to climate change,” said James Rogers, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Apeel Sciences. “Our US partners are realising the value of Apeel and are halving their food waste in many cases. Our next critical step is assisting retailers across Europe in their efforts to reduce waste, while simultaneously improving profits and enabling customers to enjoy fresh, high quality produce with a longer shelf life and ripe time.” 

“Every day we work across the entire chain to create innovative solutions that will make the world healthier and more sustainable. Apeel allows us to significantly reduce food waste, so we are extremely proud that the result of our intensive cooperation has now reached the shelves. We look forward to reaching more consumers in Europe with our products with Apeel,” said Adriëlle Dankier, Chief Commercial Officer of Nature’s Pride.

“Food waste is a major challenge that puts a strain on the environment. This is why this is a high priority area in Salling Group and we are investing in solutions and initiatives to ensure that we reach our goal: a 50% reduction in food waste leading up to 2030. We are certain that Apeel can help make a difference, not only for us, but also for customers and households. Therefore, we look forward to introducing the solution in Denmark,” said Stephan Bruhn, director at Salling Group.

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Dino Polska goes green by harnessing the sun’s power

Dino Polska goes green by harnessing the sun’s power, ct. The Star
Credit: The Star

 

 

Polish supermarket chain Dino Polska S.A. is to install solar panels to generate renewable energy at its new and existing stores, according to European Supermarket News. By early 2021, the retailer aims to mount photovoltaic panels on the roofs of almost 400 Dino stores throughout Poland. The total capacity of the photovoltaic panels is expected to generate an estimated 14 GWh of clean, solar electricity per year and reduce CO2 emissions by around 11,000 tons per year. Chief executive of Dino Polska S.A, Szymon Piduch, said, “Our intention is to meet the expectations of our customers. This applies not only to the development of Dino’s product offering, based on high-quality fresh products, but also to rising to global challenges and executing projects aimed at combating climate change.”

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Interview of the Month: How Bayer can support growers along the food value chain

Four questions to Ronald Guendel, Global Head of Food Chain Relations at Bayer Crop Science

In the Interview of the Month from issue 146 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine we put four questions to Ronald Guendel, who is the global head of Food Chain Relations at Bayer Crop Science. Here Guendel addresses topics including how Bayer tailors integrated crop solutions according to sustainable agricultural principles in order to help its partners enhance food safety, quality, yield, and traceability

Why is Fruit Logistica important to Bayer and what are your points of emphasis at this year’s event?

Fruit Logistica is the most important international trade fair for fresh produce. Next year will be Bayer’s 12th year in attendance—a decision we have never regretted. The contact we maintain with our customers and partners along the entire value chain at Fruit Logistica is simply invaluable. Over the last dozen years, our participation at Fruit Logistica has continuously evolved and taken on new significance. In the beginning, the trade fair was an important platform for us to invite farmers to join our Food Chain Partnership initiative. Over the years, our network has grown considerably. Today, the fair gives us an opportunity to network efficiently and stay in touch with key individuals along the entire value chain. In 2017, one of our main focus points will be the cultivation of European fruit and vegetable and how Bayer can support growers and other participants along the food value chain to ensure even better sustainability and reduce their environmental footprint.

What exactly is the Food Chain Partnership? Can you explain the initiative’s focus and reach?

Food Chain Partnership is an innovative business model that we at Bayer have developed so we can work closely with growers, traders, processors and retailers. We started this initiative in 2005, mainly as a reaction to public concerns about food safety and residues in fruit and vegetables. At this time, the industry was called upon to address the need for greater food safety, with consumers placing increasing importance on products that are produced sustainably and can be traced back to the producer. Our main role is to act as a facilitator and bring together the partners along the food value chain by sharing our expertise. Based on individual local needs, we develop tailor-made integrated crop solutions according to sustainable agricultural principles that help all partners involved enhance safety, quality, yield, and traceability. Today, about 70 Bayer food chain managers work in 30 countries around the world, focusing on more than 50 different crops. Our initial focus was on fruit and vegetables. But this successful model was recently expanded to include field crops such as oilseed rape, wheat and rice. The majority of our projects are in Europe, Latin America and Asia, but the number of initiatives in Africa and North America is increasing.

Bayer Food Chain Partnership became part of the GLOBALG.A.P. protocol, in order to start certifying stakeholders. What value does the Food Chain Partnership add to existing protocols

GLOBALG.A.P. focuses on Good Agricultural Practices and sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. In 2014, we formed a cooperative partnership with GLOBALG.A.P. to help small- and medium-sized farmers in developing countries implement sustainable cultivation practices and comply with local quality and certification standards in order to eventually obtain recognition (localg.a.p.). Bayer customized its BayG.A.P. service program to the requirements of the localg.a.p. standards. It follows a three step approach, consisting of training, farm advice, and verification support for farmers. Participating farmers benefit from certified high-quality produce that they can sell at higher prices to enhance their income. Traders and retailers benefit from the consistent high quality of the products, enhanced safety, and traceability. The program has gained traction and is expanding globally. So far, we have initiated 18 pilot projects everywhere from Africa and Asia to Europe and Latin America. On top of that, we’ve already received very positive feedback from farmers and food chain partners. And we’re only getting started.

What is the extent of Bayer Food Chain Partnership programs in Asia and in the Americas?

We’ve initiated numerous projects in Asia and Latin America across a broad range of crops. In Asia, it’s mostly projects for fruit and vegetables, especially potatoes and rice. India is a very good example. We’ve initiated several projects to promote good agricultural practices there, and the results have been extremely promising. Through a project on table grapes, we helped increase yields by an average of 7% and improve produce quality at the same time. And our guidance throughout the crop cycle resulted in a 35% higher grower net income. Besides India, we also initiated projects in China, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia. In Latin America, we’re working with farmers in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico and other parts of Central America—in Guatemala, for example, where we’ve partnered with the exporter SIESA Group to support small-scale growers in producing high-quality vegetables. All of our project partners have enjoyed clear benefits. With our help, the vegetable farmers can produce more exportable produce and sell at higher prices, SIESA can protect its market share by exporting safe products, and their retailers can promote the high quality and safety of the products to domestic customers.

Siesa partnered with Bayer in its Food Chain Partnership initiative in 2008. The Guatemalan company benefits from intensive training in good agricultural practices and technical recommendations in order to achieve the best possible quality.