Annual Report 2023

Promoting sustainable agricultural practices

We promote sustainable agricultural production practices among our suppliers and in our agri-food operations. These help reduce environmental impacts in areas such as soil pollution, and preserve ecosystem services, provided, for example by pollinators. At the same time, these practices increase the resilience of production systems, ensuring their economic viability and social development.

It is based on these principles that we developed the Sustainable Agriculture Handbook to help our fruit, vegetable and flower suppliers calculate the sustainability index of their farm, thereby helping to identify opportunities for improvement in strategic areas such as land use, biodiversity preservation, water and energy efficiency, and the proper use of fertilizers and phytopharmaceuticals. We also provide training for farms that are part of the programme, aligning the methodology used in the handbook with the objectives of the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy.

In 2023, we applied the principles set out in the handbook to 28 new farms in Portugal, including a total of 72 new farms covered by the programme between 2021 and 2023 and thereby fulfilling our goal of integrating at least 70 new locations. The average sustainability index for these new farms was 3.6 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the maximum score).

We have also set ourselves the goal of achieving an average sustainability index of at least 3.7 for farms that have already undergone two or more assessments. In the 2021-2023 period, a total of 65 farms were reassessed, resulting in an average index of 3.7, in line with the goal we set. Reassessments are usually carried out every two years and, in general, the indicators with the highest score (more than 4) are those related to waste management, crop practices and soil. The indicators that present the greatest opportunities for improvement are those related to energy management and consumption.

A total of 188 farms, managed by 92 suppliers, have been integrated since the start of the project, which together account for 63% of the volume of fruit, vegetables and flowers purchased by our Companies in Portugal.


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