Sustainability at Farmhouse
Sustainability is the foundation of Farmhouse. We want everyone to enjoy our amazing fruit and vegetables and we want to have a positive impact on people, the environment and society. All links in the chain are part of that mission and sustainability is always an important factor. This helps us in getting one step closer to our goal each day: “Happy people, healthy planet”.
Sustainability is integrated in all links of our chain. These are each linked to one or more of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) of the United Nations.
Sustainability from farm to fork
Everything starts with our farmers. Our farmers ensure that our beautiful exotics grow in healthy conditions and are cultivated in places all around the world. In order to continue to grow together, we build long-term relationships with our farmers. We like working closely with our farmers, from large to small, to make a positive economic, social and environmental impact. We also take care of people and the environment through careful farmer selection.
Environment (& Food Safety)
Nature allows us to grow and supply our beautiful products to anyone who wants to try them for themselves. That is why we work together with nature. Our mission is to minimise our impact on the environment, to ensure a sustainable future for people and the planet. As part of our environmental strategy, we are working to use freshwater resources more efficiently and reduce our ecological impact. We also focus on systematically improving biodiversity on our farms and promoting soil quality. This way, we ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy our delicious products and a healthy living environment.
Farmhouse International wants to provide customers with healthy products that we fully support with our hearts as well as with our common sense. Our products are grown in conditions that are good for people and the environment, so that everyone in our value chain is and remains happy. We can only create long-term impact if we work together and work to create a chain that benefits everyone. We do this by integrating social goals into our procurement policy, by establishing long-term partnerships and joint ventures.
Reducing ecological impact
We work to reduce our environmental impact every day. For instance, on our avocado farm, where we have managed to reduce water use by approximately 70%.
In order to effect the greatest possible impact in the field of social working conditions, we are affiliated with the Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables (SIFAV) through Yex and FV SeleQt. We work together with other parties active in the fruit and vegetable industry, on a transition to a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food chain.
Click here for more information about SIFAV and our shared sustainability goals.
Packaging. Don’t waste it.
Products that come from far away must be properly protected and packaged. But let’s be smart about it and handle packaging responsibly. For Farmhouse International, this means finding a balance between product and packaging. Because packaging must always be functional. Well-packaged food often prevents waste. We don’t want any packaging to be wasted, no unnecessary use of packaging material, but certainly no food waste either.
We want our packaging to be more sustainable by 2025. We will do this in four ways:
- 30% reduction in packaging weight
- 100% recyclable packaging
- Responsible use of materials
- Education and information for stakeholders
Goodbye black plastic, hallo benches
Over the past year, we have worked hard to remove black plastic from our supply chain. We promised we would no longer use black plastic when packaging our products after 2020. But we still had a small supply of black plastic left. We melted down the plastic into two benches. We kept one bench for ourselves and the other we donated to charity. We always try to find sustainable solutions because throwing away unused packaging would be a shame!
Plastic-free banderole packaging
Our banderole packaging is a handy sustainable packaging made of 100% recyclable paper. The 2-packs are available for the Ready to Eat Mangoes and Avocados from the Discovered range.
The banderole packaging is made of 100% paper and most components contain FSC certified paper. Because the packaging is plastic-free, the entire wrapper can be discarded with the recycled paper.
The transport of our products is a crucial part of our sustainability strategy. If our products are transported under the right conditions, this contributes to maintaining the quality and shelf life of our products. In this way we prevent food waste and maintain the value of the farmers.
The vast majority of our products are transported by freighter, but for some products this is not yet possible due to loss of quality, shelf life or location of the farm. Nevertheless, we are also continuously looking for improvements here and we are investigating the possibilities of transporting our products as efficiently as possible or producing our products closer to home.
The boat from Guatemala
At the beginning of 2021, we switched to sea freight as a transport method from Guatemala for our mangetout and sugar snap peas. Because sea freight has fewer emissions, this is beneficial for the environment. By using sea freight we have reduced our CO2 👣 by more than 1.5 million kg.
Sustainable transport by road
Thanks to our collaboration with our sister company ABC Logistics, we have many options for making road transport more sustainable. The lorries of ABC Logistics are all equipped with Euro 6 engines. In addition, the transport planners ensure efficient planning, to prevent empty kilometres as much as possible. The drivers also have an app that monitors driving behaviour and provides advice on sustainable driving.
4. Our home base
Reduction of food waste
With an estimated world population of 10 billion people in 2050, it is important to use all resources to feed all these mouths. That is why we are committed to giving 2nd class products a second life. We aim to reduce our food waste by half by 2030. In addition, we want to give 50% of the unavoidable food waste a suitable destination. Through these efforts, we are not only reducing food waste but also greenhouse gas emissions.
Making our business operations more sustainable
We also try to make our business operations as efficient as possible. We make our business operations more sustainable through efficiency and innovation: using sustainable energy sources, such as solar energy and geothermal energy. We also remind employees to handle materials and resources with care and we promote a paperless office.
Happy employees & social engagement
The mission of Farmhouse International is: ‘Connecting smiles’. We want to create a smile on everyone’s faces in all links of the chain.
And it all starts with happy employees. With job satisfaction being one of our KPIs, we conduct an annual employee satisfaction survey and regularly organise sessions in which topics related to employee satisfaction are discussed. We draw up an action plan for points arising from this. In this way we ensure that our employees can continue to develop and thus are and remain Happy, Involved and Proud.
Solar panels for C02 reduction
We have installed 16,000 solar panels across the entire site of ABC Westland Agri & Food, reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 2000 tonnes per year.
A second life for sweet potatoes
Class-II sweet potatoes are given a second life by using them for the chip industry or by donating them to food banks. This gives our products a beautiful and useful destination!
Our ultimate goal is to offer consumers the healthiest, most exciting and attractive choice of fruit and vegetables possible. And a varied, healthy and mainly plant-based diet is not only in the consumer’s interest, it is also of great benefit to the earth.
At Farmhouse International we inspire consumers to eat tasty, plant-based and healthier food. We do this by sharing delicious recipes on the website of our ‘Discovered’ brand. Here, we provide tips about different preparation methods and inform consumers about how products can best be stored for the longest possible shelf life. The packaging of our Discovered products contains information about the packaging material and the correct recycling method.
Inspirational platform brimming with recipes
Thousands of visitors find inspiration to eat healthier, more varied and/or plant-based on our recipe platform discovered.nl. This website is full of useful product information, cutting techniques and more than 200 exotic recipes. From main course to breakfast, there is a lot of inspiration for everyone, in various languages. We also reach many people through our social media channels who are looking for tasty and healthy tips and recipes.
Our packaging contains recycle logos indicating how our packaging should be recycled. Together we can ensure that the packaging is reused. By properly disposing of the packaging, our consumers can complete the circle.