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Italy’s ‘Plastic Tax’ to be reformed

Italy’s ‘Plastic Tax’ to be reformed, Credit image: Marco Verch, Flickr
Credit image: Marco Verch, Flickr



The impact of Italy’s new Plastic Tax is expected to be less than originally intended as it will not concern compostable materials or those produced with recycled plastic (R-Pet), the use of which is spreading in packaging for fruit and vegetables. Following parliamentary debate, other changes to the tax are also in the pipeline. The new tax was originally set to tax plastics by €1 per kilo; but this is set to be cut to between €0.40 and €0.80 per kilo. The new tax is expected to generate revenues of €1.1 billion in 2020 for the Italian government. As for the impact on the private sector, the Plastic Tax is estimated to cost Coca-Coca Hbc Italia approximately €40 million each year.

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HaciendasBio promotes CSR in European Week of Waste Prevention

HaciendasBio promotes CSR in European Week of Waste Reduction


Spain’s leading organic fruit and vegetable producer, HaciendasBio, is underlining its green credentials with a series of initiatives aimed at ensuring greater sustainability. On December 14, the firm will carry out a garbage collection around its Bellicar farm, in Almería, within the framework of the ‘LIBERA, united against trash’ project, created by SEO / BirdLife and Ecoembes. The company is also working on reducing internal waste. Among its main collaborations are the union of the Decalogue of Sustainability of the Food Industry promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with the objective that companies improve their economic, environmental and social aspects. In addition, it has joined the campaign “Food has no waste” led by AECOC, association of manufacturers and distributors, in order to establish prevention and efficiency practices throughout the food chain, maximize the use of surplus produced and raise awareness and raise awareness in society about the need to reduce waste. Likewise, it has joined the international Global Compact Decalogue in order to promote environmental responsibility, which highlights the company’s commitment to comply with the 10 ethical principles established by the UN, including supporting the preventive approach to environmental challenges, promoting greater environmental responsibility and encouraging the development and dissemination of environmentally friendly technologies.

Caring for the environment is the premise that governs all of HaciendasBio’s activities. The firm produces clean energy so as not to contaminate or generate waste. It captures C02 by incorporating all the vegetal remains of its crops, improving the conditions of the organic matter before its application. The company has built irrigation systems with solar energy on 80 hectares of crops. Finally, HaciendasBio has joined various initiatives promoted by the WWF such as Earth Hour.

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New studies in Scotland into sustainable crop combinations 

New studies in Scotland into sustainable crop combinations 


A study is underway in Scotland to identify the best combinations of crops to develop more sustainable production. The Sustainability in Education and Agriculture using Mixtures (SEAMS) initiative, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is coordinated by the James Hutton Institute. SEAMS has a network of sites across Scotland to trial crop mixtures and provide information on how to tailor their use to different locations. The sites will also be the venue for discussions with local farmers to further expand the network.

The study is based on the finding that different crop mixtures can improve yield stability, reduce pest and disease damage, and enhance stress resilience in agricultural systems. SEAMS aims to partner up with food buyers and producers to increase demand for local products derived from the mixtures. The project also plans to connect with policy makers to promote the use of crop mixtures within future agricultural policy.


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Frutas Montosa, invests in sustainable packaging

Frutas Montosa, invests in sustainable packaging

Frutas Montosa has invested in new technology, innovation and corporate social responsibility. “This year, we are offering our clients new packaging solutions that contain less plastic. At Montosa, we have already eliminated almost 80% of plastic from our production,” said digital marketing manager, Luisa Mejías. Montosa is also improving its communication with its clients and potential customers, with the expansion of the firm’s marketing department to handle every possible enquiry. “We are always listening and creating new food solutions to satisfy demand. This year we have consolidated our products in Europe. We help our clients increase sales by providing key information to consumers about how to consume our fresh and healthy products,” said Mejías. In fact, Montosa has updated many of its internal and external procedures. 

Frutas Montosa is based in Malaga, southern Spain. The specialist in avocado and fresh guacamole has been operating in the sector for over 35 years, and now supplies the leading retailers across Europe. Its product portfolio includes avocado, mango and guacamole. Production volumes for 2019 are expected to rise from last year’s levels, with 30 million tons of avocado, 3 million tons of mango, and 5.7 million tons of guacamole.  

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BelOrta launches new sustainable packaging for red fruit

BelOrta launches new sustainable packaging for red fruit

Since Wednesday BelOrta offers the first cardboard punnets with topseal. This new packaging responds to the trend towards more sustainable packaging and is adorned with an attractive “Happy snacking” design. Initially, it will start with the extensive red fruit range. In a later phase, a larger range of fruit and vegetables will be packaged in this sustainable & innovative packaging method.

Sustainable and attractive

Sustainable entrepreneurship has been a commitment which BelOrta has taken up in many areas for many years. With the introduction of these new cardboard punnets, we once again emphasise the absolute attention we give to it. The trend that consumers have a changed vision on plastic has long been unmistakable. BelOrta strives to create innovative packaging solutions that are both good for the environment and attractive to the eye. This cardboard punnet with topseal combines both and will undoubtedly stand out in the vegetable and fruit array.

Happy snacking

These new punnets come together with the start of a new snacking line. With “Happy snacking” we are responding to the increasing demand for healthy products for snacking in-between and on the go. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, … are the perfect healthy sweets to eat on the train, at work or at school. Starting from Wednesday, our customers will be able to offer all our berries to their consumers in a handy travel package that is not only attractive, but also helps reduce the use of plastic.

Sofie Lambrecht
Division Head Marketing
Tel: +32(0)15 565 292

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Pink Lady to participate at Produrable – the fair for a sustainable economy


The 11th edition of the Produrable fair will be held on April 4 and 5 in Paris. The meeting focuses on solutions for a sustainable economy for the agri-food sector. For the first time, Pink Lady® will attend the event as part of its IMAGINE corporate social approach. The firm will present the positive results of the first two years of the brand’s work and share the fruit of its inspiring initiatives. These programmes include the implementation of 3D diagnosis, CSR performance diagnosis in 100% of the organisation’s nurseries, the launch of a Bee Pink programme to raise awareness among bee producers, and the Pink Lady® Talents list – a sustainable initiatives contest which rewards six promising projects. On Pink Lady® Day, the organisation will open its orchards and packing stations for business partners and journalists.


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Collaboration between Sustainable Rice Platform and GLOBALG.A.P.

GLOBALG.A.P. offers rice certification following good agricultural practices, and producers in several countries are already certified. The GLOBALG.A.P. certification system provides an integrated holistic approach to good agricultural practices and the scope covers more than 500 products.

In March 2017, the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) and GLOBALG.A.P. exchanged memberships and committed to work together towards good agricultural practices in rice production. 

In October 2015, the SRP and its members launched the world’s first sustainability standard for rice production. The SRP Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation has been field-tested over the last year in a number of rice-growing countries and is supported by a set of performance indictors to monitor impact. The Standard is now being upscaled to support a growing interest in sustainable rice supply chains in both the public and private sectors.

GLOBALG.A.P. offers rice certification following good agricultural practices, and producers in several countries are already certified. The GLOBALG.A.P. certification system provides an integrated holistic approach to good agricultural practices and the scope covers more than 500 products. More than 70 percent of the certified producers are organized in producer groups or cooperatives. 

GLOBALG.A.P. and PRIME Agri Ltd are launching the GLOBALG.A.P. Academy in Myanmar with a focus on Group Certification for smallholder farmers. The core curriculum in Myanmar is based on GLOBALG.A.P.’s Integrated Farm Assurance Standard for Fruits & Vegetables (Version 5), combined with a supplementary module of the SRP Standard and its protocols. This project in Myanmar will facilitate compliance with and certification of both standards without duplication in the implementation or verification processes.

“By the end of May 2017, we expect to have achieved the first Group Certification of nearly 100 smallholders in Myanmar’s southern Shan State – a region with the potential to be the temperate fruit and vegetable capital of the ASEAN region with amounts to rival California’s crop production valued at over USD 35 bn per year. This first batch of smallholder farmers paves the way for other smallholder groups that will be developed through the Myanmar GLOBALG.A.P. Academy. Altogether, these smallholders will form a food safety and sustainability compliant supply chain. Compliance with GLOBALG.A.P. Standards will accelerate access to high-value premium domestic and export markets as well as attract investments in agribusiness infrastructure and the downstream food industry,” remarked Kenneth Shein, co-founder and Group CEO of PRIME Agri.

GLOBALG.A.P. is also participating in a Sustainable Rice Platform Working Group, which is currently shaping a reliable and efficient assurance framework for the SRP Standard. 

“This cooperation will make an important contribution to harmonize and combine the efforts of SRP and GLOBALG.A.P. members to help rice farmers achieve more sustainable production practices, and will also help link them to local and international markets,” explained Kristian Moeller, CEO of GLOBALG.A.P.  

About the Sustainable Rice Platform
The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) is a global multi-stakeholder alliance established in December 2011, co-convened by UN Environment and the International Rice Research Institute. Its 70 institutional members include governments, supply chain members and input providers, international agencies, research institutions and civil society organizations. SRP promotes the establishment of resource-efficient, climate-smart sustainable supply chains in the global rice sector and aims to reach one million smallholders by 2021.

GLOBALG.A.P. is a leading global certification program whose mission is to bring farmers and retailers together to produce and market safe food to protect scarce resources and to build a sustainable future.

Sustainable Rice Platform: 

Lea Las Piñas  (Communications): 
UN Environment Asia Pacific Office
United Nations Building, 2F Rajdamnoen Nok Ave
Bangkok 10200
T: +66 2 288 1801

Claudia Meifert 
Public Relations
T: +49 (0) 221-57993-997