There are many sides to corporate social responsibility. This is certainly true of a trendsetting company like the Best Fresh Group. These companies are actively involved in everything from organic produce and trucks with Euro 5 engines to Fair Trade. And the list goes on and on. Here are some of the group’s activities involving corporate social responsibility.
Another interesting detail is that the water pumped up contains natural gas! A gas separator removes the gas from the water so it can be used for generating the electricity needed for the pumping operation. You can’t get much more sustainable than that.
Transport: increasing efficiency and reducing waste
According to transport manager Marcel van Bruggen, many measures have already been taken when it comes to logistics. ‘Whenever we can, we try to combine loads and avoid “empty” kilometres. By continuing to improve our processes, we are increasing our efficiency and reducing waste. We also upgrade our equipment – lorries, for example – by introducing technical improvements. Since last year, our entire fleet has consisted of lorries with Euro 5 engines. this year, we’re introducing an Eco driving course for our chauffeurs to help reduce energy consumption as well as CO2 emissions.’ Besides all this, the hall at ABC logistics uses an energy-friendly cooling system. Any residual heat is used as needed for heating the hall and the adjacent office.
Fair Trade logo guarantees producers an honest price
Corporate social responsibility goes a lot further than environmentally responsible cultivation. Fair trade is another aspect of this: making sure that producers in poorer countries are paid an economically justifiable price. ‘This is exactly what FV SeleQt does’, explains Martijn de graaf, Managing director of FV SeleQt. ‘In Kenya, we grow snow peas, sugar snaps and haricots beans. All farms there are certified by Fair Trade to use the Fair Trade logo. This means that the growers get a guaranteed minimum price for their produce. On top of this, they receive a Fair Trade bonus to be used for improving their operations - things like improving working conditions for employees or introducing sustainable production methods.’
Bio World responds to the interest in organics
As it turns out, there really is a market for sustainably produced products in every country. This is no news to Jurgen van ’t hoff, salesman at Bio World, either. ‘One of our main suppliers is glastuinbouwbedrijf BiJo, a company specialising in greenhouse horticulture in ’s-gravenzande. This company not only produces organically but also of fossil fuels by 97 percent. We immediately found an enthusiastic customer for this sustainably produced line of organic products. This German wholesaler carries a wide line of organic products: not only fruit and vegetables but wine as well. These products come with a story that this customer is all too happy to convey to its customers.’
By handling sustainably produced products, transporting them responsibly, and having them grown using geothermal energy, the Best Fresh Group has managed to embed its pursuit of sustainability throughout the entire distribution chain. According to Jurgen, this is exactly what corporate social responsibility intends to achieve: ‘Sustainability has to be pursued as a team. Together, we can make a statement and show that we stand by it.