On the day that marks the official start of the World Juice Summit in Antwerp, Belgium, FrieslandCampina Riedel B.V. and Solidaridad have announced that they will be working together to promote a more sustainable tropical fruit cultivation. FrieslandCampina and Solidaridad are joining forces in Brazil to actively support local orange growers who supply fruit for Appelsientje. The cooperation is given shape through Solidaridad’s Rural Horizon programme, which helps farmers to improve and make their production processes more sustainable. In India, where growers supply mangos for CoolBest, support is being given to temporary employees. Oranges and mangos account for nearly 80 percent of all the tropical fruit purchased by FrieslandCampina.
Jeroen Kroezen, Solidaridad’s international programme manager for tropical fruit: “The cooperation with FrieslandCampina not only delivers a sustainable food supply chain; it also improves the position of the farmers involved and offers them better prospects”.
Marjan Skotnicki-Hoogland, Director of FrieslandCampina Riedel BV, adds: “The cooperation with Solidaridad reinforces our ambition to improve the position of farmers as they move towards a more sustainable farming system, without making any concessions in terms of the quality of our products. However, as FrieslandCampina we cannot do it alone. Achieving a sustainable outcome requires a sector-wide approach and cooperation with other partners in the supply chain.”
Global fruit cultivation under threat
The cultivation and production of fruit juices depends on global chains. A growing world population, ageing farmers and scarce natural resources present a considerable threat to the global fruit cultivation. Poor living and working conditions, climate change, harmful pesticides and other problems affecting the productivity and quality of fruit cultivation in many countries are other negative factors.
Lack of future prospects is causing more and more farmers to give up their profession, and this is having a major impact on the sector. Cooperation across the chain is the only way forward to genuinely improve tropical fruit cultivation. FrieslandCampina and Solidaridad are therefore working with other fruit juice producers and development organisations within AIJN, the representative association of the fruit juice industry in the EU.