Freshfel Europe is launching a project for a collaborative approach of the fruits and vegetables sector to the mandatory reporting under the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), and the continuous work on materialising environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts and impacts.
Societal concerns, increasing consumer distrust in companies, and a rapidly changing climate are driving businesses and policymakers towards more transparent methods and a heightened ambition to improve their performance on ESG topics. For the fresh produce sector, this is a welcomed development, as it will generate clearer and more verifiable communication on the sustainability impacts and focus areas of the sector. Freshfel Europe’s General Delegate Philippe Binard clarifies “The fresh produce sector has high health benefits and a low environmental impact, and started its sustainability journey many decades ago. Fresh produce is a sustainable food option with a good story to tell. While the CSRD reporting will lead to hard work, it will in return provide many benefits. The CSRD will indeed lay the sector foundation to be more accountable and transparent in the sustainability story reporting”.
The CSRD will put sustainability reporting side by side with financial reporting and is one of the first steps towards a more sustainable economic model in the EU and beyond. However, the reporting structure is complex and will require a lot of time and resources for companies. Conscious of this, Freshfel Europe has initiated a project to facilitate a shared sector approach starting with the Double Materiality Assessment as well as a practical toolkit and guidance on how to use this for your own company.
The objective of this project is to begin the sector collaborative work on matters relating to sustainability reporting and the understanding, materialising, and benchmarking of ESG topics. This will set the basis for the sector to identify and better understand the impacts and effects sustainability issues have on companies working in the fresh produce value chain. Freshfel Europe´s Policy Advisor on Sustainability Joanna Nathanson added that “The Freshfel CSRD project is open to all companies in the European fresh produce sector and will help guide the implementation of EU corporate social responsibility reporting and the double materiality assessment”.
It will also open the door to future areas of cooperation, including EU Taxonomy guidance and scenario analysis of climate-related risks and opportunities in the value chain. Being transparent and accountable on ESG will become crucial for companies in the future to get access to private or public finance but also for access to customers in the supply chain.
To learn more about the project, please contact Joanna Nathanson, Policy Advisor on Sustainability, International Affairs & Communication at Freshfel Europe at email@example.com.
Note to the Editors: Freshfel Europe is the European Fresh Produce Association, representing the interests of the fresh fruit and vegetables supply chain in Europe and beyond. Freshfel Europe currently has over 200 members, including both companies and associations. For more information, please contact Joanna Nathanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.