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08 October, 2020 Industry News

FRUCOM Working Group on Sustainability

FRUCOM Working Group on Sustainability

On September 28, 2020, the INC participated in the online Sustainability Working Group meeting organized by the European Federation of the Trade in Dried Fruit & Edible Nuts, Processed Fruit & Vegetables, Processed Fishery products, Spices, Honey (FRUCOM).  

The objective of the meeting, attended by almost 40 representatives from different private companies and national associations, was to give an update of the different strategies that the European Commission is developing under the roadmap ‘The European Green Deal’.
Ms. Anna Boulova, FRUCOM Secretary General, gave an overview of the expected EU legal proposals planned for the following years within the framework of The Green Deal approved in May 2020. The Green Claims Initiative and the Environmental Footprint (EF) methods were explained by Ms. Emmanuelle Maire, Head of Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption, DG ENVIRONMENT, European Commission. She said that the EC is exploring what EF methodology can be used in developing criteria for product policy measures. The EC will propose that companies substantiate their environmental claims using EF methods. Next speaker, Mr. Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, CEEV (EU Wine association) Secretary General, shared the wine sector experience in the development of the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) on wine. He concluded that although PEFCR is a great tool to identify companies hotspots and opportunities to improve production, it is too expensive for a mandatory implementation, there are uncertainties (problems with datasets and benchmarking), and there is a risk of oversimplifying the message to the consumers.
Finally, Ms. Astrid Baeten, FRUCOM Responsible for Sustainability, presented the preliminary work on the sustainability risk assessment for FRUCOM products. The preliminary document draws an overall picture of the nut sector in terms of sustainability. The objective of this document is to serve as communication basis for the sector achievements, for discussion on possible gaps, for identifying possibilities for joint initiatives, and for members to start their own due diligence process in the supply chain.
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