Two of the Netherlands’ biggest foodservice buyers sign landmark sourcing agreement designed to protect environment

Dutch importer-marketer Jaguar The Fresh Company has agreed a landmark agreement to supply climate-neutral oranges to two of its largest customers in the Netherlands from the start of September.

The fruit will be delivered year-round to Albron, one of the country’s largest foodservice operators, and HMSHost Netherlands, which specialises in food and hospitality at airports, railway stations and shopping centres.

The deal will be managed by purchasing organisation Victoria Trading, which has worked closely with Jaguar for several years.

Mathieu Hirdes, retail manager at Jaguar, said the switch to certified climate-neutral fruit made perfect sense given the need for action to protect the global climate.

“Oranges are a key segment within the fresh fruit category – around 10 per cent, so it made sense for us to be the first player to redefine this playing field,” he said. “We are now substantially reducing CO2 emissions in the orange supply chain.”

Bastiaan van Asten, senior vice-president commercial at HMSHost International, said his company wanted to lead the way on sustainability. “We are always looking for innovative ways to supply sustainable food experiences and show our concern for the wellbeing of the planet,” he said.

“Although the step towards carbon neutral oranges may sound small, it is a huge one for sustainability and underlines the importance of the pioneering work of Victoria Trading. We are proud that we are now one of the first in the Netherlands to offer our guests climate neutral oranges all year round.”

Track record

Albron already has an impressive track record when it comes to climate action. Earlier this year, it switched to 100 per cent sustainable fish in collaboration with SmitVis and the Good Fish Foundation. It was apparently also the first large caterer to switch completely to organic milk, buttermilk and yoghurt.

Tjeerd Nuijen, senior buyer at Albron, commented: “Albron is synonymous for tasty, healthy, sustainable and affordable food and drinks for everyone. This means that we are continuously innovating and looking for the best solutions within all product groups.

“With Jaguar’s climate-neutral oranges, we can once again expand our sustainability impact. Controlling emissions in the fruit and vegetable chain has our full focus. That’s what makes this collaboration so much fun.”

The climate neutrality certification process is split into three parts. The first requires existing emissions to be mapped using primary supply chain data. The second involves a 35 per cent reduction in emissions over ten years. Then in the final phase, remaining emissions are offset through approved projects.

For Jaguar, the preliminary certification process was supervised by Pré-Consultants and the Climate Neutral Group, and led to a successful audit that complied with the Climate Neutral Standard 1.0.

Jaguar now aims to offset its remaining emissions as much as possible via its own projects, for example by generating solar energy on farms with the help of sister company Jaguar New Energies.

Vincent van Kuijen, Jaguar’s general manager, said the company saw it as a “moral responsibility” to contribute to sustainability by substantially reducing CO2 emissions in its orange supply chains.

“The first steps have been taken, and our commercial team will now focus on the introduction of climate-neutral oranges in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Belgium, Germany and France, in collaboration with leading sustainability focused retailers and foodservice companies. Our team will also be available to discuss this exciting opportunity at Fruit Attraction in Madrid from 4-6 October.”