The cooperative fruit and vegetable sector further improves its sustainability

With ‘Responsibly Fresh’, the fruit and vegetable producers and their cooperatives – associated within VBT, the Association of Belgian Horticultural Cooperatives –  have made collective efforts towards sustainability. They first looked at getting their own businesses in order. By obtaining the necessary certificates and inspections by external parties, they’ve been able to show meaningful progress. After 6 years and 3 sustainability reports, it is now time to come into the open.

Cooperative entrepreneurship is sustainable entrepreneurship

The word “cooperative” means working together. This is what the fruit and vegetable producers do. Instead of selling their products on the local and international markets individually, the mainly family-owned businesses have grouped themselves together and formed cooperatives.

Sustainably produced, healthily consumed

Living more healthily can be achieved by moving more and through mindful consumption. It is advisable to eat certain goods more and others less.

Progress with respect for the elements of nature

Through their sustainability efforts, fruit and vegetable producers and their VBT cooperatives make an important contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

The highlights of a renewed approach

NATURALLY HEALTHY

NATURALLY HEALTHY

From 2019 onwards, the fruit and vegetable producers and the VBT cooperatives will promote their sustainability efforts under the slogan ‘Goodness by nature’. The aim is to emphasise that their products, which are naturally healthy, are being produced with minimal impact on the environment.

IN COOPERATION WITH THE VALUE CHAIN

IN COOPERATION WITH THE VALUE CHAIN

Where and when possible, the fruit and vegetable producers and their VBT cooperatives will approach other stakeholders in the market to establish initiatives that will encourage healthier eating and continued sustainable development. In cooperation with the different links in the value chain.

HEALTHIER EATING

HEALTHIER EATING

A priority for the fruit and vegetable producers and their VBT cooperatives is encouraging consumption of their healthy and sustainable products, as well as promoting food thrift, out of respect for its inherent value and in cooperation with the consumer.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The fruit and vegetable producers and their VBT cooperatives are inspired in their sustainability efforts by the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. In fact, they’ve highlighted eight, in cooperation with the world community.

Our growers

What's new

The four relevant themes we’ve been working on for the last six years

Low impact

Low impact: when it comes to producing and marketing fruit and vegetables, it is important to let nature do its work and ensure the impact on humans and the environment is kept to a bare minimum.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity, because it is unsustainable when farming disrupts the natural order instead of aspiring to integrate fruit and vegetable production into nature and its environment.

Proximity

Proximity, because it is important to know where fruit and vegetables in stores are sourced from and how they got there.

Food thrift

Food thrift, because it is shocking to realise just how much tasty and healthy food is lost or wasted.