We work with natural products, which gives us a considerable responsibility for dealing with nature conscientiously, the environment and society for the benefit of future generations. Our customers and consumers can rely on receiving fair, safe and sustainable products thanks to our sustainability policy which links the entire chain. These are the four pillars of our sustainability policy:
In addition to satisfying food safety requirements, we also encourage our growers and suppliers to work as sustainably as possible in terms of working conditions, energy, water, waste and crop protection.
We buy our products from growers and producers who can demonstrate that their methods are socially sustainable. These companies have certified working conditions. All our growers are affiliated with GRASP, the social module of GlobalGAP. In addition, we require our suppliers to participate in GRASP or an equivalent system: Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI), Sustainable Business Initiative (Initiatief Duurzame Handel, IDH), BSCI, Sedex, and Fair Trade.
The Greenery is a signatory to the Sustainable Business Initiative covenant. This means that, when we buy products from countries that are considered to be high-risk on social grounds, we act in accordance with the objective of only purchasing from companies that demonstrably satisfy the requirements of the Sustainable Business Initiative. These companies must at least participate in BSCI, Fair Trade, ETI/SMETA, Fair for Life, SIZA, SA8000 or the Rainforest Alliance.
Together with our growers, we also try to minimize our impact on nature and the environment. We reward growers who make an exceptional effort to work sustainably with the Nature Counts designation. These growers must be able to demonstrate outstanding performance in at least one of the following areas: natural crop protection, energy consumption, transparent business practices or a responsible approach to water, energy and waste. On Fresh Harvest (Verse Oogst), you can read all about the various sustainability initiatives of our growers.
By 2020 our entire chain will be sustainable. We continue to expand the number of growers who are able to ship directly to customers. This means a major cutback in transport movements and consequently in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, reducing chain costs and the environmental impact. The centralisation of distribution centres and therefore the renewal of our logistical infrastructure is leading to a considerable reduction in energy costs and transport movements, thereby contributing directly to our sustainability policy.
We find the development, health and safety of our employees very important. We want everyone to go to their work in good health and spirits, so we ensure that our employees have the right knowledge and skills to be able to perform their job. We also encourage them to take health and vitality courses, on for instance healthy exercise and how to quit smoking. Additionally, we hand out free fruit at our DCs.
Together with Olympia employment agency and Baanbrekend, a body that provides job mediation services for the benefit of recipients, a pool has been created of occupationally disabled individuals that fall within the scope of the Participation Act (Participatiewet). A group of between forty and fifty employees from this pool work at our Barendrecht DC.
By growing and supplying fresh fruit and vegetables, we want to provide the right and healthy nutrients to a growing global population throughout the year. Our products should be reliable, affordable, as well as being accessible to the largest possible number of people. We also actively promote the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in accordance with the standards issued by the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, in order to contribute to a healthier society. Promotion takes place by means of our website www.verseoogst.nl and at various events, among other places.