operating Responsibly Fresh

"Every ending has a new beginning"

"In 2012 we launched the sustainability project and label 'Responsibly Fresh' at the Fruit Logistica," according to Rita during the presentation of the third Responsibly Fresh report. In 2012 the VBT, along with five sales cooperations BelOrta, Cooperation Hoogstraten, Reo Veiling, BTV and LTV, launched Responsibly Fresh. On Thursday June 14 the third and final report was presented after six years to those invited, including the Flemish minister of Agriculture Joke Schauvliege. The evening was held at the tomato cultivation company Primato in Putte.


Philippe Appeltans and Rita Demaré of VBT and minister of Agriculture Joke Schauvliege


"Positive changes have taken place on various different levels, including ecological, economic and social. Producers and growers are investing more in sustainable techniques and innovations. This is thanks to the sales cooperations that have been working towards this in recent years," according to Lies Elsen of the VBT. In the report the actions taken in recent years in the framework of Sustainable Business are included. The economic, ecological and social impact of Responsibly Fresh has also been absorbed into the report. And unlike previous reports there are now some interviews with and visions of growers and producers concerning sustainable business included as well.


Maarten de Moor (LAVA), Rudi Uten and Patrick Thoen of BFV

Fruit Logistica 2019
"Every ending has a new beginning," according to Rita Demaré. Now that Responsibly Fresh is closed the sustainable business practices in the fruit and vegetable sector won't end, as a new strategy will be announced during the Fruit Logistica in 2019. The new strategy relates to the Sustainable Development Goals as a frame of reference and a cooperative identity. "The fruit and vegetable sector has been working on sustainability in the sector for years. However difficult it has been and however hard they've been hit, such as with the Russian import embargo. The sales cooperations together created an achievable approach and the results show this," says Joke Schauvliege.


Joke Schauvliege, Kevin Pittoors and Chelsey Kenis


Primato
As an event closer those invited were taken for a tour of the greenhouses of the family company Primato. The company grows cherry and vine tomatoes and has an annual production of 7000 tonnes. Kevin Pittoors and his wife Chelsey are very involved in sustainable growing. A good example of this is the company's water system, due to the re-circulation of water, a minimal amount of clean water is needed.



Click here to download the Responsibly Fresh report.


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