Through the agreement with Coldiretti, which started in 2019, a new framework has been developed to enhance the 'ethical, environmental and economic' value of the Italian tomato supply chain.
Princes said this framework would help support Coldiretti’s efforts to tackle Italian food fraud – a market worth more than €100bn, more than twice the value of Italian food exports to the entire world.
Three-year supply contracts
The group’s Italian tomato processing facility, Princes Industrie Alimentari (PIA), which produces Napolina tomatoes, has committed to three-year supply contracts to enhance financial stability for Coldiretti growers. It has pledged to work with the University of Foggia to ensure the pricing of tomatoes reflects the true costs of growing and harvesting, enabling the long-term sustainability of the industry.
Napolina and Coldiretti aim to fuel innovation across the tomato supply chain through the implementation of agriculture 4.0 technologies. This includes satellite surveys to monitor crops and to tackle the impact of climate change, precision control equipment to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers, herbicides, and non-biodegradable plastics, and waste and water management projects. Training will also be provided for farmers and technicians of partner farming cooperatives.
“The shared commitment with Coldiretti and our suppliers to maintain high environmental standards, reinforce ethical working practices and promote fair economic conditions is a significant step forward in protecting the future of the Italian tomato supply chain,” said Andy Hargraves, Princes group director for Italian Products.
“There is no Italian tomato product on British shelves that has anything like the level of supply chain assurance behind Napolina.”
Princes said Napolina and PIA had taken steps to enhance social sustainability across the tomato supply chain, investing in the protection of human rights to support the fight against exploitation practices, such as the ‘Caporale’ (gangmaster) system. Princes is working with Oxfam Italy, taking advice to strengthen transparency.
Jill Morris, UK ambassador to Italy said: “This agreement honours both parties since it not only aims to promote the sector but guarantees fair working conditions and the respect of human rights in conformance with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goal agenda.”
At its Foggia plant, PIA processes 200,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes from the Apulian district annually.