Westfalia South Africa avocados

The Carbon Trust has granted Carbon Measured certification to leading South African avocado producer Westfalia Fruit.

The certification applies to all the company’s avocados grown in South Africa marketed in the UK, as well as its avocado-derived product range sold in the South African market, including avocados, avocado oil and guacamole products.

Westfalia Fruit said that after engaging with the Carbon Trust, it was ensuring compliance with best practice for carbon emissions.

“At Westfalia Fruit the passion to care and conserve is evident in all aspects of the value chain” the group stated.

“Our aim is to ensure our environmental commitments become an integral part of our day-to-day activities,” said Johnathan Sutton, Westfalia Fruit Group safety and environmental executive. “We are actively seeking ways to continually improve our environmental performance. Reductions in our carbon emissions is one of our main targets.”

“Our business is directly impacted by the complexities of climate change,” noted CEO of Westfalia Fruit Group, Alk Brand. “We realise the need for mass action in tackling this challenge. Therefore, we have chosen to work in collaboration with several like-minded companies, such as the Carbon Trust, in analysing the impact of our products.

'This is just one of the steps we are taking in our ongoing commitment to the environment and sustainability that should culminate in us becoming ‘lifetime carbon neutral’ by 2049.”

The process evaluated total greenhouse gas emissions at different life-cycle stages and throughout the value chain for each of the products.

This included assessment of agricultural production, ripening, packaging, processing, and transportation.

Avocados were assessed from seeds to young trees in the nursery. The transport of trees to the orchard, energy use and pest and disease controls used in the orchards, upstream transport of farm inputs, packaging emissions from material, and emissions from the disposal of packaging and organic waste were all considered.

To qualify for the Carbon Trust Product Footprint Carbon Measured Label, Westfalia’s carbon footprint was certified from business to consumer according to PAS 2050, a specification for the assessment of the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of the analysed products.

“We have worked with Westfalia Fruit on its sustainability agenda since 2019,' said Hugh Jones, managing director at the Carbon Trust Advisory. 'It’s great to have certified the product carbon footprint of Westfalia’s SA-market products and UK-market avocados to the Carbon Measured label as part of its sustainability journey.”

“The Carbon Measured label, an internationally recognised symbol, allows Westfalia to say with integrity and confidence that we are taking real action to mitigate our environmental impact,” Sutton outlined.

“Sustainability is an unmistakable part of the core values to which Westfalia Fruit is committed – from its farming practices, production processes, water-conservation policies and no-waste approach on its estates, to the welfare and education of staff members and their families,' he explained. 'Westfalia’s careful selection of cultivars suited to specific regions and climates, biological pest control programmes, as well as the reduced use of chemicals, adds to this.”

Sutton added that Westfalia Fruit recognised that its economic, social and environmental objectives were integrated components towards sustainability and corporate resilience.