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How sustainable are the potato growers of Royal Avebe? FSA awards Gold status...

Optimeel improves international sustainability status.

The members of Royal Avebe (potato farmers) participating in the Optimeel growing programme have been awarded Gold status according to the FSA 2.1 standard of the global platform SAI for sustainable agriculture.

That is the outcome of a recent assessment by an independent organisation. Avebe thus meets an important international standard for sustainability in the food industry. This recognition directly benefits the sales of Avebe’s ingredients.

The Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) is an international standard for sustainable cultivation that considers economic, social and environmental aspects. The standard is recognised internationally by more than 125 leading food companies.

Growers can complete the FSA questionnaire themselves or be jointly assessed when they join a platform such as the crop optimisation program Optimeel. Avebe had this study conducted by an independent body, and it shows that growers participating in Optimeel meet the standard for FSA Gold. The programme is in line with the current standards for cultivation and delivery to Avebe.

Optimeel

Optimeel is Avebe’s crop optimisation programme in which potato growers register their growing activities, share their knowledge, and participate in special study groups. Avebe has Silver status for potato starch and potato protein from potatoes not grown under Optimeel.

More than half the growers already participate in the cultivation programme.

Michiel Puttman, commercial director at Avebe:
 
"It works both ways. Participating growers see their yields increase and a reduction in the environmental impact. And that helps us sell our products. The fact that sustainable conditions are now demonstrably in place makes it easier for us to negotiate with customers."

"Customers ask for this, and if we can show that we have this in order, we can change gears faster. That makes all the difference."
About FSA

The Farm Sustainability Assessment is an assessment based on a survey containing 112 questions about various aspects concerning the cultivation of raw materials for the food industry.

It forms part of the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative, the SAI Platform established in early 2000 by Nestle, Unilever and Danone to shape agricultural sustainability to support the goals of growers and processors and is clear to customers and consumers. The starting point is that successful agriculture is vital for a successful food chain.
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