Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative

Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative

A new level of cooperation on sector sustainability

Freshfel Europe along with its members have launched the Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative for the fresh produce supply chain. In light of upcoming EU legislation requiring environmental footprint accountability as well as increasing demand along the chain for product sustainability data for supply chain actors and customers alike, there is a growing need for a standardized environmental footprint methodology for the fresh produce sector.

Freshfel Europe and its members are embarking on the Environmental Footprint Initiative in a collaborative manner to develop a fresh fruit and vegetable environmental footprint methodology and digital tool that the whole sector may benefit from to enhance the industry’s sustainability and maintain its competitiveness. The Initiative is a milestone in sector cooperation on sustainability matters.

Freshfel Europe members participating in the Initiative include Ailimpo, ANPP, Apeel Sciences, Assomela, Bama Gruppen, Bayer AG, BVEO, COLEACP, Dole plc, Greenyard, Fresh Produce Centre, IG International, Interfel and VBT, in addition to Freshfel Europe as a sector-wide representative. With participating members from right across the supply chain from Europe and beyond, the Initiative will reflect the needs of the entire supply chain from producers to consumers.

An objective & standardised environmental footprint methodology for fresh produce

The objective of the Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative is to develop an objective, standardized environmental footprint methodology, database and digital tool for the fresh produce sector that is broadly accepted by the industry, stakeholders as well as consumers. Until now efforts within the sector to address product sustainability through environmental footprint have been highly fragmented.

The Initiative will align with the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology as recommended by the EU. The PEF methodology is likely to be employed by the European Commission in upcoming legislation impacting the fresh produce sector on substantiating green claims and a harmonised EU sustainability labelling framework for food among others. Category rules specific to the fruit and vegetables sector will be developed ensuring comparable results of PEF- calculations.

More information about the launch of the Initiative is available here

A collaboration with the extended supply chain

The Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative is collaborating with partners outside of the direct fresh produce supply chain. ESSA, the European Sprouted Seeds Association, and Growing Media Europe are both collaborating partners in the Initiative, adding further insight and knowledge to the full life cycle of fresh fruit and vegetable products.

Rijk Zwaan (*)

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