SVZ used last week’s Food Ingredients Europe (FiE) show in Frankfurt to announce that it had signed-up to the Sustainable Juice Covenant.
Co-ordinated by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), the covenant aims to make the sourcing, production and trade of fruit and vegetable-derived juices, purees and concentrates completely sustainable by 2030.
Other companies that have pledged to the covenant include Firmenich, Döhler, FrieslandCampina Riedel, Refresco and Verbruggen Juice Trading Sustainable Products.
With the support of the European Fruit Juice Association, the coalition will work on the certification/verification of their supply chains, and jointly set up projects to address specific sustainability issues such as smallholder inclusion, working conditions, soil erosion and degradation, and climate resilience.
75% sustainable sourcing by 2025
Celebrating its 150th year, SVZ has vowed to reach 75% sustainable sourcing by 2025, before reaching 100% by 2030.
Up until now, SVZ’s sustainability initiatives have included investing in a training programme promoting best practice among more than 3,000 farmers, as well as various water management initiatives.
Chief executive Anouk ter Laak said the company had built its practices on three pillars – sustainable sourcing and agriculture, environmental sustainability and valuing people.
“We are very proud of the work we have done so far, which has been made possible due to our stringent supply chain control and team of agronomy and sustainability experts,” she said.
“As outlined in the Sustainable Juice Covenant, all of our ingredients – for customers in juice and beyond – will be sustainability sourced by 2030 as we take the next step in our work towards a greener future.”
9.6bn litres consumed in the EU
In 2015, 9.6bn litres of fruit juice and nectar was consumed in the EU and 38.5 litres globally, IDH said. The EU remained the largest juice-consuming region, followed by North America, it added.
Under the covenant, the companies are to put annual process monitoring in place, start pre-competitive field projects and develop an activity plan for the year ahead.
IDH is also seeking to inspire more liked-minded companies to join the covenant and work together towards a more sustainable supply chain. The covenant is open to all businesses in the supply chain.
SVZ used FiE to showcase a range of purées and concentrates, suitable for a number of applications – from beverages and baby food to dairy products and baked goods.
“From clean-label, natural and minimally processed to healthy and reduced sugar, consumers have more demands than ever before and we are well-placed to help our customers meet these needs,” said SVZ sales director Johan Cerstiaens.