FRUCOM works closely with its members on the topic of sustainability. As an important European trade association, FRUCOM closely follows, monitors and engages with European Union policy on sustainability on behalf of the members, to ensure that members interests and views on the matter are well represented.

FRUCOM also enables exchange of information and knowledge sharing platforms for its members on many aspects of sustainability (e.g. packaging, footprinting, etc.) through its Sustainability Working Group

The most topical and relevant issues like due diligence, environmental footprinting, packaging etc. are addressed upon during the meetings of the working group.


FRUCOM members are involved in numerous initiatives to make their supply chains and production activities more sustainable.

FRUCOM members are aware of the importance of sustainable practices to manage and reduce impact and create sustainable value for the planet, people and business. Discover more by clicking below on the different products:

Edible nuts and seeds



Prunus dulcis

Main origins for import to Europe: USA, Spain, Australia

Imported volumes to Europe in 2019 (shelled) : 430 759 MT (source INC)

Almonds are mainly grown through family operations, where dehulling, sizing, cleaning and packing typically occurs close to the point of origin.

FRUCOM members support sustainability in the almond value chain through various means. On the production front, this is done through the use of irrigation methods to reduce water consumption (e.g. drip irrigation) and reduction of waste and carbon sequestration through the recycling and reuse of almond hulls and other by-products. Additionally, FRUCOM members are also conscious of the importance of pollinators for a sustainable environmental life cycle, and have introduced practices which support bees and other pollinators by reviewing pesticide use and supporting education programmes to educate growers about pollinators. Members have also invested in the reduction of pesticide use. Finally, to reduce their carbon footprint, many FRUCOM members have invested in the use of solar energy and sourcing energy from the by-products of almond processing.





Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts Bertholletia excelsa

Main origins for import to Europe: Bolivia, Brazil and Peru.

Imported volumes to Europe: 14,221 tonnes (2019; Source Eurostat)

The Brazil nut is a giant tropical rainforest tree found in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. The nutritious nuts, harvested from the wild, are one of the most economically important non-timber forest products in the world. Brazil nut harvesting is a crucial part of rural livelihoods across the Amazon region.

FRUCOM members have engaged in carrying out risk assessments of their Brazil nut supply chain and are working with their business partners to improve standards. Additionally, FRUCOM members provide Brazil Nuts which are certified organic as well as through Fairtrade scheme, are certified via SEDEX, and are also involved in the Sustainable Nut Initiative (SIN).




Anacardium occidentale

Main origins for import to Europe: Vietnam, India

Imported volumes to Europe in 2019 : 205 023 MT (source INC)

An important amount of global cashew production takes place in Africa, where most producers are smallholders (Comcashew). West-Africa (mostly Ivory Coast: 80%) is the principal producing region, but the bulk of deshelling is done in Asia (85%).

Sustainability is a growing concern for cashew growers, and FRUCOM members have supported the cashew supply chain to become more sustainable by:

-          Participating in voluntary sustainability pilot projects regarding traceability, improved data and price sharing information towards producers

-          Increasing the automation of deshelling in South-East Asia

-          Improved labour conditions at production sites

-          Using renewable energy from shells in power plants






Corylus avellana
Main origins for import to Europe: Turkey, Georgia, Italy, Azerbaijan

Imported volumes to Europe in 2019 : 274 238MT (Source: Turkey: Black Sea Exporters' Associations - Others: Trademap)

In Turkey, hazelnuts are typically grown either in small family owned farms in areas such as the East and North-East, or in larger farms in the West and Central regions. The production of hazelnuts usually takes place in moist climates where water is less an issue, and they are able to grow on sloping land which would otherwise be unsuitable for most annual crops

The hazelnut sector has developed numerous sustainability initiatives and FRUCOM members are at the forefront of these sustainability practices. These include:

-          Social certification and Involvement in several projects and programmes with NGO’s and government to improve the labour and living conditions of seasonal workers and their families

-          Voluntary certification e.g. UTZ

-          Programmes to support improved productivity and good agricultural practices




Arachis hypogaea

Main origins for import to Europe: Argentina, USA, China, India

Imported volumes to Europe in 2019 (shelled) : 800 369 MT (source INC)

Peanuts are naturally sustainable. They are a rotating nitrogen fixing crop, therefore replenishing the soil with the essential nitrogen that's depleted by other crops. Resulting in a lower need for fertilizers and pesticides.

Moreover, peanuts have a very low water footprint: 3740 L/kg, since only a minority of peanut farms are irrigated (Van Hamme et al.)

Our peanut members understand the value of caring for the environment and societies in which they operate. They therefore continuously work towards reducing the environmental footprint of their operations and are engaged in making their production processes and operations more sustainable.

Measuring carbon impact

Development of innovative technology to decrease the use of inputs

Use of by-products like shells and skins for energy generation or other innovative uses




Pistacia vera
Main origins for import to Europe: USA, Iran

Imported volumes to Europe in 2019 : 107 861 MT (source INC)

Sustainability initiatives in the pistachio value chain have seen an uptick, particularly in the US, where FRUCOM members have invested in innovative practices to support a sustainable pistachio sector.

Sustainability activities supported by FRUCOM pistachio members include the use of more productive varieties which have higher yields for the same water volume, reducing water use through drip irrigation, and the use of research and innovations such as fuel cells, as well as drones, apps and data to monitor water use. Furthermore, there has been investment in sustainable energy use – notably through solar energy and the use of pistachio shells or other by-products as biofuels. On the social front, members are engaged in community development programmes.




Juglans regia
Main origins for import to Europe: USA, Moldova, Chile, Ukraine

Imported volumes to Europe in 2019 : 132 567 MT (source INC)

Walnuts have a moderate environmental impact due to their water footprint. There are no known ethical issues related to walnut production. Sustainability initiatives have been implemented by producers in the key origin countries of US, Chile and China.

FRUCOM members in the walnut value chain have invested in sustainability through various approaches, that include the decrease of inputs through the use of natural processes, the use of irrigation systems that reduce water consumption and support to farmers and growers through training in good agricultural practices. Furthermore, renewable energy has seen a strong uptake by producers, which includes increased use of the by-products of walnut production as an energy source or natural fertilizer, and use of solar energy.




Dried fruit and vegetables


Phoenix dactylifera
Main origins for import to Europe: Tunisia, Israel, Iran, Pakistan

Imported volumes to Europe in 2019 : 162 976 MT (source INC)

Dates have a low environmental impact. Date palms are tolerant to difficult environmental conditions. The date palm can grow in hot, arid climates and have a tolerance for saline water. These qualities allow it to grow and offer a food source even in difficult environmental conditions, such as deserts (FAO). Dates have an average carbon footprint of 1,1 kg CO2 equivalent (Scarborough et al.)

Sustainability in the date value chain is largely based on good practices and some technical investments. For examples, FRUCOM members support the use of organic fertilisers, the use of nets to protect date branches in order to avoid chemical insecticides, intercropping and increased use of solar energy to pump water.




Coconut Cocos nucifera

Main origins for import to Europe: Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka

Imported volumes to Europe: 77,769.5 tonnes (2019; Source Eurostat)

Desiccated coconut is produced in almost all coconut-producing countries, but most quantities are produced in Southeast Asia, with the Philippines and Indonesia being the main processors.

The Sustainable Coconut and Coconut Oil Roundtable is the leading sustainability initiative for coconut products. FRUCOM members are also follow best practices in compliance with human rights due diligence for their coconut supply chains, including compliance with the ETI (Ethical Trading Industry) Base Code and membership of SEDEX.






Prunes (dried plums prunus prunus)

Main origins for import to Europe: USA, Chile and Argentina. France a significant producer in Europe.

Imported volumes to Europe: 59,409 tonnes (2019; Source Eurostat)

There are two main commercial types of plums: the European plum (Prunus domestica) and the Japanese plum (Prunus salicina), each having many varieties. The European varieties are mainly grown for processing into dried plums (also known as prunes), but are also grown for the fresh market.

According to Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), globally, the United States accounts for 48% of world exports followed by Chile (13%) and France (12%).

According to Agribalyse, the product environment footprint score of dried prunes is 1.28 per kilogram, with a carbon footprint of 2.53 kg CO2 eq/kg of product, and a water footprint of 100.7

m3/kg of product.

FRUCOM members adopt best agricultural practices to reduce the environmental impact of their products, with the use of technologies to monitor the soil moisture content in order to effectively irrigate orchards and application of improved irrigation techniques (California Prune Board). Additionally, energy for drying comes from solar energy (Prunes USA).



Raisins (dried vine fruits)

Vitis vinifera
Main origins for import to Europe: Turkey, South Africa, Iran, USA

Imported volumes to Europe in 2019 : 378 946 MT (source INC)

Raisins are the most important dry fruit in terms of volumes traded. Grapes, from which raisins are derived, have a relatively low carbon footprint: 0.8 kg CO2 equivalent to produce 1 kg of grapes (Scarborough, whilst their water footprint is moderate: 2 433 l/ 1kg of dried grapes (Hoekstra

In terms of sustainability in grape production, the key focus of FRUCOM members has been on the reduction in the use of water, through recycling, drip irrigation and other water management programmes. Energy use in raisins production is kept low by sun drying the grapes and investing in solar energy.




Processed fruit and vegetables


Mandarins (including tangerines and satsumas); clementines, wilkings and other similar citrus hybrids) Citrus reticulata

Main origins for import to Europe: China, Turkey and South Africa. Spain also a significant European producer.

Imported volumes to Europe: 33,199 tonnes (2019; Source Eurostat)

Mandarins grow best in the “Citrus belt”, which lies between 20°N and 40°S latitude, and includes the Mediterranean, parts of North and South America, China, and Japan. Mandarins are more perishable than other citrus fruits, so they must be handled gently and stored properly prior to processing.

The water footprint is moderate: 8464.22 Mm3/year for mandarins in China or 15117.4 Mm3/ year globally. Global average water footprint per ton of crop is 749 m3/ton (Mekonnen and Hoekstra).



Peppers capsicum annum

Main origins for import to Europe: Turkey and Peru. Other producers from Europe are Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands

Imported volumes to Europe: 47.608 tonnes (2019; Source Eurostat)

Turkey is the leading exporter of peppers to Europe, with Antalya province as one of the most important crop production areas. It is the centre of greenhouse vegetable production in Turkey.

Pepper production is not associated with child or forced labour, and use of drip irrigation is widespread in pepper production.

The carbon footprint of canned red peppers is 1.62 kg CO2 eq/kg of product according to Agribalyse, whereas cooked red peppers come in at 1.72 kg CO2 eq/kg of product.




Pineapples Ananas comosus

Main origins for import to Europe: Thailand, Philippines, Kenya, Indonesia

Imported volumes to Europe: 242,965 tonnes (2019; Source Eurostat)

A large workforce is required to cultivate the fruit. After an extensive period of planting, protecting, and watering pineapples, they are harvested and packaged to be shipped to processing plants or to be sold as fresh fruit.

According to Agribalyse database, the carbon footprint of pineapples in syrup ranges from 0.8 to 1.52 kg CO2 eq/kg of product, with the largest environmental impact taking place during processing.

In countries where sugarcane is also grown (and used to produce sugar for the preservation of the fruit), the residual bagasse generated in sugar milling can be used in cogeneration processes to supply energy for the production equipment.



Processed fish and seafood


Crangon crangon, black tigers (Penaeus monodon) and Pacific whites (Litopenaeus vannamei)

Main origins for import to Europe: Vietnam, Ecuador, Greenland, Canada for cold water shrimp, Bangladesh & India for warm water

Imported volumes to Europe: 906,000 Tonnes

The shrimp supply chain is highly complex, and a large number of transactions occur through middlemen. As a result, it’s extremely difficult to track shrimp from pond to plate. Coldwater supply chains and warm water supply chains are very different - there are many examples of best practice, in warm water for example where the whole supply chain is certified from feed production, through hatchery farm and processing plant which are available to buyers. (GAI)

FRUCOM is a member of LDAC (Long Distance Advisory Council) and MAC (Market Advisory Council on Fisheries and Aquaculture Products), which both address the subjects of IUU (illegal, unregulated and unreported) fishing and sustainability.

Additionally, FRUCOM members are involved in best practices for sustainable shrimp production, including for example the Seafood Importers and Processor’s Alliance (SIPA) which apply and advocate for Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Best Seafood Practices (BSP).



Thunnini (Albacore, Bigeye, Atlantic Bluefin, Pacific Bluefin, Southern Bluefin, Skipjack, Yellowfin)
Main origins for import to Europe: Ecuador, Philippines, Seychelles (AIPCE-CEP)

Imported volumes to Europe (AIPCE-CEP): 1449 000 tonnes

Sustainability in the tuna sector has been a priority for a number of years, and it is among the products with the most advanced tools to measure, monitor and address sustainability concerns. These include voluntary sustainability initiatives, public-private partnerships and developing international best practices and standards.

FRUCOM is a member of LDAC (Long Distance Advisory Council) and MAC (Market Advisory Council on Fisheries and Aquaculture Products), which both address the subjects of IUU (illegal, unregulated and unreported) fishing and sustainability.

FRUCOM members have adopted among the highest possible standards in sustainable tuna sourcing, including extensive use and participation in fisheries improvement projects (FIP) as well as in, for example, the ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and support of MSC certification across their entire tuna supply. Furthermore, tuna fished from resilient stocks such as skipjack, is the primary type sold in Northern Europe and members are also invested in improved labour practices through the use of independent external auditing. Additionally, members have also invested in reducing their environmental footprint by replacing plastic in packaging with more sustainable materials.