Prince de Bretagne represents 2,000 vegetable producers, all located in the north of Brittany, and 147 types of different vegetables. On behalf of Fruit Logistica, this leader in the production of fresh vegetables in Europe presented its new CSR Sustainability Report. Marie-Amélie Lacroix, Product Manager at Prince de Bretagne: "This report is based on a charter of ten commitments for sustainable development that was built by the producers themselves."
"Preoccupied by food scandals and anxious to preserve the image of farmers, the producers of Prince de Bretagne wished to take the floor to present all the actions they implement on a daily basis for the three pillars of Sustainable Development: preservation of the environment, social progress and the maintenance of a local and solidary economy."
"In 2017, all stakeholders in the Breton vegetable sector had regular meetings during a period of six months. Producers, experimental stations, the Chamber of Agriculture and suppliers convened to discuss the question: what does it mean to be a producer of fresh vegetables within the sector of Prince de Bretagne these days? They came up with a charter of 10 commitments, which form the basis of their new CSR 2018 Sustainable Development Report."
"With the quality seal 'protecting fresh taste', the specifications of Prince de Bretagne guarantees great freshness to the consumer: the vegetables are mostly handpicked and delivered to a packing station at the end of the harvest. They are subjected to an inspection before being put on sale. The quality of the vegetables marketed under the brand Prince de Bretagne, guaranteeing flavour and health, is the pride of the producers of Prince de Bretagne."
In terms of economic organization, at Prince de Bretagne producers get to make the decisions. At the same time, and independently, 439 of the 2000 producers at Prince de Bretagne have responsibilities in the sector and have an active part in the decision making.
Many actions are implemented to enhance the attractiveness of the farming profession as well; a prerequisite for maintaining the local economic fabric. "We estimate that we have 27,000 direct and indirect jobs generated by Prince de Bretagne vegetable production in the region. We must absolutely keep up our activity."
"We must preserve this land that makes us a living, as farmers, and that we will of course leave to the next generation; the preservation of the environment is a fundamental issue for the producers of Prince de Bretagne. Agroecology is part of the foundation of their agricultural practices: practices that they constantly question, in order to preserve this land and that they will bequeath to their children. They particularly rely on exchanges of good practices between producers, more specifically those practices developed by organic vegetable producers."
"At Prince de Bretagne, conventional vegetable production has never been opposed to organic farming. These two agricultures are complementary, and in 2017 we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our organic section: A section which continues to grow with 20,000 tons of organic vegetables produced per year, 55 certified organic producers, and 22 in conversion."
"Another example of the steps taken to constantly improve our agricultural practices, is that Prince de Bretagne’s tomato producers have created the label "100% Nature and Flavours” this year. This label is a commitment of means and results, created by the producers themselves: they commit themselves to using no synthetic pesticides during cultivation, and to check for the absence of residues in the finished product thanks to the analyses on more than 240 molecules, performed by an independent laboratory. It is the strictest specification of the market," explains Marie-Amélie. "Ultimately, we don't rule out that this approach will be implemented on other productions. We offer more than 147 different types of vegetables, so there is plenty to do."
The main vegetables produced by the Prince de Bretagne producers are cauliflower, artichoke, tomato and shallot. Most of it is currently marketed in France and in neighbouring European countries.