PART OF THE CHAIN
WHAT AGROFAIR HAS BEEN UP TO
So what has AgroFair been up to: Firstly – and paradoxically – it is with great pride that we announce that AgroFair is no longer the largest importer of Fairtrade bananas in the world. If anything is a sign of our success, then this must surely be it! Fairtrade and organic bananas have seen tremendous growth in various markets worldwide. Against this favourably changing backdrop it is still our ambition is to be active leaders in the field, both now and in the future, managing social and environmental sustainability while maintaining the economic viability of our company and that of our producers. As much as we feel that certification is a valuable tool, we are also convinced that sustainability should go beyond mere certification. That is why we call our sustainability policy “Active Sustainability”. By this approach, we can give important topics that have strong local or regional salience a more active and bespoke attention beyond or on top of certification.
OUR COMPANY’S PRINCIPLES
Our sustainable business philosophy is formulated around “the 3P’s”: People & Society, Planet & Ecology, and Profit & Economy. These three aspects should be in balance with one another to guarantee a sound and sustainable business for the long term.
From the very beginning, AgroFair has been very serious about bringing a sustainable product to the market. As a pioneer in FairTrade bananas – followed by other fruits – living and working conditions of the people who produce these fruits have been on top of our mind right from the start.
1.Workers rights, health and well-being
- The right for everyone to a safe and healthy work environment, with no suppression or discrimination.
- The right for all personnel to earn a decent living wage within the span of a normalworking week which enables them to provide for their family the basic needs including food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transport, clothing and participation in local social and cultural life.
- Workers on small farms
- An active policy towards vulnerable and minority groups; e.g. women, handicappedpeople and ethnic minorities.
- Living conditions
2.Training, development and remuneration of AgroFair staff
People have been the driving force behind AgroFair from the start. A deeply felt concern for fair working and living circumstances in the producing countries led us to our first goal when the company was founded: realizing and importing the world’s first ever Fair Trade banana. The sourcing of Fair Trade (or equally certified) bananas is still our core business today. Over 95% of our fruit carries the Fairtrade label.
And yes, we do actually put our money where our mouth is: for each box of bananas that we sell, a premium of one US dollar is paid. With this money, projects are started each year to improve the living conditions of farmers and workers. We’d like to share some of these stories with you in this chapter of our report.
Care for people goes hand in hand with care for our planet: the sole source of everything we need in daily life.
1.Use and discharge of resources and materials
- Keeping the impact of operations on the environment due to inputs, waste and discharge as low as possible, and actively seek ways to reduce this impact further.
- A responsible and efficient use of water needed throughout the supply chain.
- Using renewable sources of energy where-ever possible, and making efficient use of traditional sources when needed.
2.Soil and biodiversity
3.CO2 emissions and climate change
In the end, planet Earth is our sole resource on which we rely for our existence. If only for that reason, we have the obligation to use its natural assets wisely, taking care not to deplete them and ensuring the livelihood for future generations.
For us, care for our planet is just as self-evident as is care for the people who grow our fruit. Unfortunately however, the conventional commercial banana business takes a heavy toll on the environment. We try to offer an alternative by ensuring that approximately 50% of our volume is certified organic, which minimizes chemical input. Our non-organic fruit is produced under sustainable labels such as RFA or FLO, applying much stricter regulations than the conventional growth industry.
To stay in business and continue our good work for the long term we need a sound financial result, making sure that we guarantee continuous efficiency and quality.
- Maintaining and improving productivity and efficiency in all parts of the chain.
- Sensible use of resources to ensure their availability in the long term
- Identify and fight threats for the continuity of the business
- Keep processes ‘lean’ and time efficient
2.Sustainable financial results
Our work is not just aimed at today, but also at the future. We intend to be around for the long term and to inspire other companies along the way. That being the case, a sound financial result and commercial success is essential for the long-term existence of our company.