Companies that buy products from Cosun set themselves ambitious sustainability goals that can only be realised if their suppliers also play their part. All our business groups are actively making the supply chains more sustainable by investing in research, innovation, practical improvements, and knowledge sharing. A raft of registration systems and benchmarks has been developed by both Cosun and external organisations to monitor their progress.
Aviko gives high priority to food safety and traceability, and records all the details in its own tracking systems. Growers who supply potatoes to Aviko under contract must demonstrably have their food safety certificates and growing records in order.
The field staff make sure that the data are provided to Aviko on time and in full. If growers cannot provide food safety data, they don’t get to supply potatoes. This is the starting point for greater sustainability and solid and dependable operations. Aviko can follow every delivery from the field to the factory.
Aviko is constantly taking measures to increase the yield per hectare and improve the quality of its raw materials. It has introduced a new penalty/reward system to encourage growers to deliver potatoes of the very highest quality. The main condition for success, however, is still the cooperation with the potato growers. All steps towards sustainability are taken in consultation with the Potato Growers Commission (ATC), Aviko’s advisory platform for the growers.
Sensus and its growers worked hard to improve the chicory yield in 2017. Their goal is to produce 10 tonnes of inulin per hectare of chicory by 2023. Thirty percent of the growers already achieved this target with their 2017 harvest.
92% of the growers shared their complete online crop records with Sensus via Dacom in 2017. The information gives Sensus an insight into the critical decisions that each grower takes. In combination with information from the Cimone chicory monitor, participating growers can then receive targeted advice on how to optimise their crops.
In the 2017 campaign, a new chicory cleaner was also used at all locations in the southwest of the Netherlands. The cleaner washes as much soil off the roots as possible before they are loaded onto the trucks. This reduces the tare attaching to the roots by 5% on average. Across the harvesting season, this is equal to 400 truck loads of soil.
SVZ signed the Sustainable Juice Covenant in 2017. It has committed itself to the 100% sustainable procurement of fruit and vegetables by 2030. The company has been working closely with its growers for many years and has its own team of agronomists to advise them. Greater sustainability stands or falls on both sides working together to achieve their goals.
SVZ prefers to work with its suppliers on long-term contracts and invests in them through its advisory, assistance and training programmes. It also takes initiatives with other stakeholders in the sector. Together with eight food manufacturers, for example, it has launched a revolutionary water management project in Spain. The project trains about 100 red fruit growers in efficient irrigation methods every year. Together with external knowledge partners, it is also studying innovative solutions to make the entire supply chain even more sustainable in the longer term.
Suiker Unie guarantees the safety of its raw material – sugar beet – by ensuring that the crop is fully certified. And all growers must have their compulsory food safety certificates periodically audited by an external agency.
Suiker Unie has set itself the ambitious goal of increasing the sugar yield per hectare and has taken a raft of measures to achieve it by 2020. The goal is known as “1890”: a sugar content of 18% in the beet and an average root yield in the Netherlands of 90 tonnes per hectare. The Institute for Rational Sugar Production (IRS) carries out practical research to increase beet yields, and shares its insights with all the sugar beet growers.
The Unitip programme is a key resource to improve the crop. It shows that Suiker Unie is deeply committed to making the crop sustainable on the one hand and advising the growers on how to increase their beet yields on the other. Some 70% of the growers took part in the programme in 2017. Their number will rise to 100% in 2018 as the programme will be compulsory for all growers as from this year.
One of the innovations to improve the yield is to target specific advice at each plot of land. The aim is to help growers take well-founded decisions that are tailored to their fields. Advice is provided not only on the choice of beet race and fertiliser but also on managing leaf diseases and storage methods. A lot of the information used to tailor the advice to the growers is drawn from the Unitip system, but public information and our own observations in the fields and beet piles are also valuable sources.