As part of “IMAGINE”, its social responsibility programme, the objective of which is to reinforce its overall performance through social progress, environmental protection and economic efficiency, Pink Lady® Europe has chosen to reward and encourage the commitment, creativity and spirit of initiative of everyone who is sustaining the adventure that started more than 20 years ago.
6 winning projects
Out of 20 French, Spanish and Italian applications, presenting projects on innovation, environmental protection, social progress and the younger generation, Pink Lady® Europe has awarded a prize to the 6 best sustainable initiatives of its sector. On 13 December, 6 “Talent Awards” were thus presented at the annual meeting of Pink Lady® in Montauban, France.
The professional selection committee chose 4 especially promising projects.
1/ Social integration
Venanci Grau Marull, SERRATER, Girona, Spain:
The development of an in-depth social programme positioned as the company’s central pillar, to ensure the integration and fulfilment of the employees, most of whom come from other countries, and to improve the efficiency of the company’s business.
2/ Ecoconversion using insects
MESFRUITS, Cavaillon, France:
Using 100% of apple production waste, while supporting an innovative protein production solution for animal feed (MUTATEC), with a smaller carbon footprint, thanks to insects.
3/ Regional communication
VOG, South Tyrol, Italy:
Development of a regional communication tool with multiple targets (consumers, media, institutions), aiming to spotlight and promote the work of the growers and the values and commitments of the South Tyrol apple sector.
4/ Global Responsible Approach
Rémy Foissey, Jonquières-Saint-Vincent, France:
Integration of all of the components of a responsible production approach to develop and promote high-quality production that respects the environment and meets the societal expectations of consumers.
2 other initiatives were named as worthy of special mention by the journalists of the produce trade press:
5/ Protection of wetland ecosystems
Benoît Laforgue, EARL de Montfourcaud, Bessens, France:
Environmental assessment with the regional nature association and development of an action plan aiming to protect the biodiversity of wetlands near the company’s orchards.
and by consumers - Pink Lady® Club members:
6/ Food bank sponsorship
Robert-Pierre Cechetti, Les Vergers de Mauguio, Hérault, France:
Fighting food waste and setting up a solidarity-based programme for the underprivileged, by donating rejected fruits and investing in the organisation of donations centralised by the food bank.
A professional selection committee
Pink Lady® Europe recruited a professional selection committee for a collective vote, reflecting the founding values of the sector.
The committee comprised members of the Pink Lady® board:
- Didier Crabos, Chairman of Pink Lady Europe;
- Albert Richard, European representative of Pink Lady® growers;
- Philippe Toulemonde, Chairman of STAR FRUITS and representative of Pink Lady® nursery gardeners
- and Gerhard Dighans, CEO of the VOG consortium
- in collaboration with 3 industry professionals:
- Gilles Bœuf, scientific advisor of the French Ministry for an Ecological and Solidarity-Based Transition;
- Sandro Castaldo, marketing/management researcher at Bocconi University in Milan
- and Joan Bonani, specialist in fruit growing at the Agricultural Research Institute of Catalonia.
One goal: sustainability
“For us, the goal of this programme is to make our members proud again, and to share the amazing things that are done in the orchards, so as to spread our best practices and highlight the people who are committed to innovating and guaranteeing the excellence of Pink Lady® apples. It’s a cornerstone of the Pink Lady® adventure: shared progress”, said Didier Crabos, Chairman of the Pink Lady Europe Association.
Indeed, the winning projects will be highlighted in a European trade press campaign, presented to all of the stakeholders of the sector and showcased to the general public, for example at the Agriculture Fair 2018. Of course, the projects will also be examined by the technical working groups organised by Pink Lady® as part of its social responsibility programme, IMAGINE, and they might be developed and duplicated.
“It's also a way of showing that social responsibility is an integral part of our daily life, and it takes us beyond the individual experience and towards collective mobilisation, a key point in the philosophy of Pink Lady®”, added the Chairman of the Pink Lady® Europe Association.
In conclusion, he said that “this first competition was a great success, and it will be repeated. We will begin accepting applications for 2018 in February 2018”.