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For more biodiversity in conventional fruit and vegetable production

Lidl and Global GAP reveal the first sector-wide certification

Lidl and Global GAP, together with partners, have developed a certification for the protection of biodiversity in the conventional production of fruit and vegetables in Europe. 

As a coordinator, FiBL Spin-off Sustainable Food Systems GmbH (SFS) is joined by the World Wide Fund for Nature, Bioland, the Lake Constance Foundation and the University of Nürtingen-Geislingen as scientific partners. Different agencies and agricultural producers have been involved in the development and piloting in Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain, in order to take into account all the constraints. 

This new “BioDiversity” module has been developed at the level of the Global GAP standard and is intended for all market players, from producers to retailers. Lidl will be the first food retailer in Europe to work with this certification. The “BioDiversity” standard will first be applied to more than 250 producers of different European countries. Then, Lidl will roll out its application to all its European fruit and vegetable partner producers.

“This first certification for biodiversity in the European conventional production of fruit and vegetables shows the importance and the strength of the cooperation. Thanks to this certification, basic biodiversity requirements can now be established for the entire sector. It represents Lidl’s ambition to drive change across the industry in order to make progress on one of the most important current topics: the preservation of biodiversity,” explains Michel Biero, executive director of purchases at Lidl France. 

According to Marion Hammerl, president of the World Wide Fund for Nature, “it is scientifically proven that the loss of biodiversity is the greatest challenge for our planet and for agriculture, after climate change. The creation of this standard will help preserve biodiversity by setting a deadline, among other things, for the conversion of natural ecosystems into farmland, while requiring a biodiversity management plan and establishing more efficient criteria for soil conservation and integrated pest management. Acknowledging the interaction between a farm and its environment is an important first step to develop a global landscape approach, necessary to stop the loss of biodiversity.”

Protecting biodiversity is one of the greatest challenges in the agri-food sector. That is why “Preserving Biodiversity” is one of the 6 strategic themes of Lidl’s CSR program. The joint development of the Global GAP module fits with Lidl’s current strategy in terms of biodiversity, a clear approach to promoting the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity. The first step is to identify the raw materials whose cultivation is associated with particularly high risks for biodiversity. In 2022, Lidl France is implementing 3 roadmaps for the empowerment of 6 “high-priority” sectors (banana, potato, and exotic fruit including pineapple, avocado, pink grapefruit, and mango). These roadmaps are a plan to improve the environmental and social aspects specific to these sectors, especially regarding the preservation of biodiversity.

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