The companies have committed to having 15% of their volume sourced sustainably in 2018, rising to 30% in 2020, 75% in 2025 and 100% in 2030.
Sustainable Trade Initiative
Supported by the AIJN (European Fruit Juice Association) and IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative), the group will carry out certification/verification of their supply chains, address sustainability issues such as smallholder inclusion, working conditions, soil erosion and degradation, and climate resilience.
The progress will be monitored by an independent third party, based on a common definition on sustainability criteria (including SAI FSA and SMETA based principle).
Peter Spaargaren, head, Global Agro Sustainability, Döhler, said sustainability is the way forward for the juice industry.
“This covenant is a valuable tool to materialize our sustainable ambitions. We are very excited to commit to this action-driven approach to increase the sustainability of our supply and of the juice industry as a whole,” he added.
European fruit juice and nectar consumption was 9.6 billion litres in 2015, representing a decline of 0.7% compared to 2014, according to the AIJN ‘Liquid Fruit’ 2016 market report (compiled by Canadean). This amounts to a per capita consumption level of 18.9 litres in 2015, driven by the largest market, Germany with 29.4 litres.
Biggest consumption region
Globally, fruit juice and nectar consumption stood at 38.5 billion litres, with the EU still the biggest consumption region, followed by North America. The development in the Asia-Pacific region was driven by good sales of nectars, while both fruit juice and nectar volumes rose in Africa and the Middle East.
Poland remains the key driver of fruit juices and nectars in the Eastern European contingent of the EU. In Western Europe, the shift from fruit juices and nectars towards other perceived healthier drinks by consumers in Germany and France impacted volumes considerably.
AIJN recently partnered with PHBOTTLE on an EU-funded research project to develop a bottle made with polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) produced by microbial fermentation of the organic matter presenting eh wastewater of juice for the first time. Results showed it is possible to convert up to 30% of the sugars in the wastewater into PHB and to use that biopolymer to produce bio-based packaging.
To find specific sustainability issues in the juice sector, IDH has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to develop a supply risk analysis at country level.
The next steps for the coalition will be to kickstart annual process monitoring, setting pre-competitive projects in the field and develop an activity plan for the first year.
The partners are also calling for liked-minded companies to join the covenant and work together towards a more sustainable supply chain.