Greenyard’s sustainability journey - Greenyard Sustainability Report - greenyard.group
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Greenyard’s sustainability journey

Planetary boundaries

Today’s global food value chains are operating beyond planetary boundaries. We are rapidly depleting our planet and our natural resources and even jeopardising future food production. Continuing with business as usual is no longer an option. A major shift is needed, both in the way we consume and produce food. At Greenyard, we recognise this, and we embrace our responsibility to be part of a shift towards improved life. For people on this planet, and for the planet itself.

Healthier lifestyles

A major shift among consumers towards a more plant-based diet, with a much lower environmental impact, can help tackle climate change while providing a sustainable solution to feeding the world’s growing population with healthy food. Greenyard has been contributing to this transition for many years by promoting a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Greenyard’s sustainability journey

Sustainable food value chains

But this is not enough. We will also need to invest in sustainable food value chains that benefit both people and planet. We need to move towards regenerative farming with a specific focus on biodiversity. This transition may sometimes feel like a step backwards from the hyper-efficient agricultural practices many farmers currently use.

Our purpose

vegetables

At Greenyard, we want to be a driving force in the transition to healthier and more sustainable food supply chains. Our purpose is based on our position in three important areas.

  1. We see it as our duty to pass on our planet and its fertile soils to future generations in the same, and preferably even better, condition than today. Our growers’ livelihoods depend heavily on the availability of healthy soil, biodiversity, fresh water and the right climate conditions. They are directly affected by the consequences of global warming and the loss of biodiversity. It is important that everyone recognises that these valuable ecosystems are under extreme pressure and have degraded over the past decades. Our key targets on climate action, water, (food) waste and packaging are designed around this belief and will help to improve our own footprint.
  2. We value the hard work and natural resources that are required to grow our fruit and vegetables and recognise the need to minimise food waste. Within the total food supply chain from field to fork more than 30% of all food is wasted. This amounts to more than 1.3 billion tonnes globally. The integrated partnership model we have developed over the years enables us to better match supply and demand and thus avoid food waste throughout the entire chain. It establishes a direct connection between the needs of end consumers and the production of our growers.
  3. We recognise the complexity of social aspects in the global food supply chain. A large part of the global workforce is employed in agriculture – about 10% overall and in some rural areas even more than 30%. Many of them work for low wages, sometimes in difficult conditions. This puts them in a vulnerable position. The inability to earn a fair and viable wage forces farmers to try to maximise production and work against nature. This also applies to developed countries where arable land is expensive and farming is over-optimised, resulting in cropland that becomes less resilient. A poverty trap in which nature loses out. That is why we joined SIFAV (Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables) to work with customers and other stakeholders on this topic and why we decided to have 100% of our growers in high and medium risk countries certified on social responsibility.
    To achieve a true sustainable solution, we need everyone in the food value chain, from start to finish and back. An absolute necessity to obtain a real, future-proof solution for this most difficult theme lies with consumers: they too will have to recognise the actual value of (fresh) produce and it is part of our responsibility to educate and convince them to pay an inclusive, true price for their products. Sustainability is a joint effort.

Joining forces
We can only realise this transition if we join forces with all the other links in the food value chain. The more people recognise the importance of the transition we need to make, the more we will achieve. Creating awareness and making the right choices when we buy our fruits and vegetables will be crucial. Only then will we be able to unlock the unparalleled potential of fruit and vegetables to create a healthier and more sustainable future for all.