Photo: Dr Merensky in the grasses
Yesterday, 16 March 2021, marks the 150th birthday of Dr Hans Merensky, the founder of the Westfalia Fruit Group. Dr Merensky was an acclaimed geologist and a dedicated humanitarian and was known for his love of nature. Dr Merensky’s vision was to develop a sustainable environmental and economic future for the Group – in line with values that are central to Westfalia’s global operations today.
To celebrate Dr Merensky’s birthday and to mark a milestone in the Group’s history, Westfalia is working towards the long-term target to ultimately recover the Group’s Lifetime Carbon emissions by 2049, which will be exactly 100 years since its first farm was established. This goal will enable the Group to begin the next 100 years as it started, taking responsibility for the past and delivering meaningful change for the future.
Johnathan Sutton, Group Safety & Environmental Executive, Westfalia Fruit Group
“Our aim is to ensure our environmental commitments are an integral part of our day-to-day business, and that we challenge ourselves to build on the Group’s environmental performance and operate globally in a responsible, sustainable manner,” says Johnathan Sutton, Group Safety and Environmental Executive.
“Dr Merensky’s legacy means sustainability is not a new concept to Westfalia, and our operations continuously challenge themselves throughout the supply chain,” adds Johnathan. “For example, in Europe we have developed plastic-free packaging that maintains fruit quality and shelf life. Several of our orchards in South America have developed an innovative, integrated pest management program, working with the local environment to significantly reduce the use of pesticides. Finally, in Africa our processing operations work to use the whole fruit, producing oil, puree and guacamole – resulting in minimal waste. As Westfalia continues to grow its business, the Group will aim to ensure all assets being established have the latest environmental credentials, using innovative ideas to create exceptional facilities that live out our core purpose: to do good”.
“As an orchard-fruit producer, we have the potential benefit of capturing carbon through the trees we farm, and our soil is a carbon sink. We increase this potential each year by returning composted green materials back into the orchards.”
Alk Brand, CEO of the Westfalia Fruit Group concludes: “Climate change is a complex issue, and not one we can solve in isolation. However, as responsible guardians of the environment, working together as a team with like-minded partners, we can make a significant positive impact. I am sure Dr Merensky would be proud to see that his legacy continues today and for future generations”.
About Westfalia Fruit
The multinational Westfalia Fruit Group is a leading supplier of fresh and processed produce to international markets, offering a diverse range of quality fruit and related products via its vertically integrated supply chain. As a frontrunner in the avocado industry, Westfalia grows, sources, ripens, packs, processes and markets accredited avocados across the globe throughout the year. Value-added products include avocado oil, low-preservative guacamole, frozen avocado and dried fruit.
Westfalia grows fruit in all major origins in the Americas and Africa and sources from partner orchards, giving Westfalia the most diverse avocado-growing footprint in the world.
A supplier of choice to retail, wholesale and food-service customers, Westfalia operates sales offices in the UK, Europe, North America, Latin America and southern Africa. Fruit is packed in diverse formats and expertly ripened to deliver optimal eating quality.