Freshfel Europe launches Environmental Footprint Initiative

Freshfel Europe, members launch Environmental Footprint Initiative for fresh produce supply chain 

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Freshfel Europe, members launch Environmental Footprint Initiative for fresh produce supply chain 

Along with industry members like Dole, Apeel and Ailimpo, Freshfel Europe has launched its Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative for the fresh  produce supply chain, which anticipates requirements for E.U. legislation that mandates environmental footprint accountability. 

According to a statement, Freshfel said that the E.U. legislation will also increase demand along the supply chain for product sustainability data for participants in the industry and customers alike.

The initiative addresses a need for a standardized environmental footprint methodology for the fresh produce sector, the statement said. 

As part of the initiative, members and the association will work in collaboration to develop a fresh fruit and vegetable environmental footprint methodology and digital tool that the whole sector.

Freshfel Europe  members participating in the Initiative include Ailimpo, ANPP, Apeel Sciences, Assomela, Bama Gruppen, Bayer AG, BVEO, COLEACP, Dole plc, Greenyard, Fresh Produce Centre, IG International, Interfel and VBT. 

The objective of the Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative is to develop an objective, standardized environmental footprint methodology, database and digital tool for the fresh produce sector that is broadly accepted by the industry, stakeholders as well as consumers. 

Until now efforts within the sector to address product sustainability through  environmental footprint have been highly fragmented, the statement said. 

Over the past year Freshfel Europe’s Working Group on  Environmental Footprint has investigated individual efforts throughout the sector to best understand the sector landscape and where gaps in environmental footprint knowledge and tools lie.

This has culminated in the launch of the Initiative with a group of leading sector members to develop a standardized environmental footprint methodology and digital tool from which the sector at large may benefit.  

The Initiative will align with the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology as recommended by the EU. The PEF methodology is likely to be employed by the European Commission in upcoming legislation impacting the fresh  produce sector on substantiating green claims and a harmonized EU sustainability labeling framework.

For its part, Dole also addressed the development in a separate statement, with Vincent Dolan, VP of Sustainability for Dole EMEA adding “ Our participation in this timely and worthwhile project reflects our core values and our preferred approach to promoting sustainability across the fresh produce sector. 

“Specifically, it illustrates our commitment to the adherence to best sustainable practices throughout our operations, the importance of the promotion of transparency across the supply chain and the value we place on constructive engagement with fellow stakeholders,” he added.

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