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 below by clicking on the different products:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Main origins for import to Europe: Turkey, USA, South Africa, Iran
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 et.al.), whilst their water footprint is moderate: 2 433 l/ 1kg of dried grapes (Hoekstra et.al.).
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.
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.
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 fertiliser, and use of solar energy.