The European potato processors industry welcomes green ambitions and wants to play its part in the shift to greater sustainability.
The European Potato Processors’ Association (EUPPA) concludes this in its newly released Sustainability Report 2021, highlighting the progress made in recent years by the sector, across key areas of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
The report demonstrates how Europe’s potato processing sector is committed to upholding the sustainability of its raw ingredients, production processes and final products. ‘The sector works closely with partners at each stage of its value chain – from growers to consumers – to create together a more sustainable future and promote social, environmental and economic wellbeing across our supply chain’, EUPPA-president Kees Meijer stressed.
To support these statements, the report showcases a wide range of initiatives being taken by EUPPA member companies from farm to fork. Examples of measures taken together with farmers, to protect biodiversity and soil health as well as reduce food waste, are McCain building a pilot farm network in Continental Europe, and the comprehensive sustainable agriculture plan with soil health at its core developed by Lamb Weston / Meijer. Innovative projects at the processing level aim to optimise the use of resources by reducing CO2 emissions, optimising water use and minimising food waste across the value chain. This includes Aviko’s most sustainable cold store worldwide, and Pizzoli reusing 25 percent of its water waste in its technological process after treatment. On the consumer level, the focus is on sustainable packaging and more nutritious food, for example the entire Mydibel product range being 100 percent vegetarian, halal and nearly completely vegan.
In order for the sector to be able to continue sourcing and processing potatoes in the most sustainable way possible, while maintaining the competitiveness of the industry, an adequate and coherent legislative framework is needed, EUPPA states. As the European Commission intends to reduce the overall use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50 percent and the use of more hazardous pesticides by 50 percent as well by 2030, EUPPA requests in-depth impact assessments to measure the effects of such measures on the potato processing sector. In addition, the association calls for incentives to ensure a sustainable and fair income for farmers, through the promotion of a new green business model that would, for example, reward regenerative practices.
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