In the Netherlands, Lidl is the first chain store to develop a sustainability standard on an international level. This is to maintain the biodiversity of all potatoes, fruit, and vegetables. The company is doing so in collaboration with GlobalGAP. This new certification means Lidl is taking the next step toward offering fruit and vegetables of a higher sustainability standard year-round. Shoppers in the Netherlands are already used to that with Dutch products. With this step, Lidl is contributing to a more level playing field for European farmers and growers.
Dutch fruit and vegetables
In the Netherlands, Lidl's policy is to source as much locally-grown fruit and vegetables. This guarantees fresh, good quality, more sustainable products. But, not all products can be grown all year round in the Netherlands. So, during certain times, Lidl imports overseas products. This new international certification will allow Lidl to offer more sustainable fruits and vegetables year-round, not just those from the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is already Planet Proof
Lidl Nederland and its farmers and growers have been moving toward making its assortment more sustainable for years. As part of its sustainability strategy, Lidl is committed to preserving biodiversity. The loss of biodiversity has enormous consequences. It affects the climate, animal species, and even food production.
That's why, in 2017, Lidl started working on sustainability with its Dutch fruit and vegetable suppliers. Now, most of this supermarket chain's suppliers meet 'On the Way to PlanetProof' requirements. Lidl Nederland has a goal for 2021. By the end of the year, it wants all its Dutch fruit and vegetable to, at least, meet the PlanetProof label or organic label criteria.
Establishing the new norm together
The new standard will supplement the internationally recognized GlobalGAP norm. In the Netherlands, Lidl doesn't source all its fruit and vegetable locally. So, it was a given that sustainability steps should be taken on a European level as well. Lidl is an international organization. It can, therefore, combine ecological and economic interests.
The company does so by involving a wide range of stakeholders. These include the Global Nature Fund, Sustainable Food Systems, and the Lake Constance Foundation. It also, of course, includes agricultural producers. The certification is expected to be available to all farmers and fruit and vegetable growers by the end of 2021.
Source: Lidl Nederland