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Sustainability Certifications: What can I rely on?

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Sustainability is increasingly becoming a must for manufacturers in the beverage industry. But how is sustainability measurable? Certifications provide information and bring transparency: By 2030, AUSTRIA JUICE intends to produce 100 percent of the entire product sustainably throughout the entire supply chain.

The range of labels for environmental protection and sustainability is tight. But which are actually meaningful? This question is not clear for many consumers - and also for companies.

For this reason, seven large companies in the beverage industry founded the Sustainable Juice Covenant (IDH) in 2017, to which Austria Juice has also been a member since 2018. The Sustainable Juice Covenant is a strong affiliation of several large beverage companies that have committed to the consistent development and implementation of common, sustainable standards.

Sustainable Juice Covenant

Achieving more together: 100 percent sustainable by 2030

With the support of the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN), the participating companies of the Sustainable Juice Covenant work together to improve social and environmental sustainability at the farm and processing levels. The focus is on the entire supply chain, which is checked and guaranteed on the basis of individual sustainability certifications of the respective companies.

With the single aim of all companies to produce 100% "sustainable" throughout the entire supply chain by the year 2030, the members of the Sustainable Juice Covenant have agreed on common rules in order to achieve this goal transparently and measurably for all. Incidentally, by the year 2020, 30 percent of the share of the participating companies should already bear the "sustainable" label.

Social audit sets the standards

In order to measurably achieve the common goal, all members of the Sustainable Juice Covenant and the companies in their supply chain must have a consistent social audit.

Austria Juice has primarily chosen the audit Sedex SMETA, which deals with the auditing of ethically sustainable production in the supply chain. The core product of Sedex (Supplier Ethical Exchange Database) is a database where members share information about their work, safety, environmental and ethical business practices. Around 50 percent of Austria Juice sites already have a valid SMETA or equivalent social audit.

Austria Juice uses the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) as a basic instrument for the evaluation of suppliers. In this verified system, a questionnaire with 112 questions on relevant topics in cultivation is presented to each supplier of the 15 sites worldwide, which includes for example the operation management, the working conditions of the employees, the safety at work as well as the type of soil and nutrient management and plant protection. For example, child labor and forced labor must be strictly excluded.

Depending on the result, the FSA divides the participating companies into one of the categories "Bronze", "Gold" and "Silver". Raw materials from farms with a SA / FSA certificate from Bronze are regarded as "sustainable".
In the process, Austria Juice has maintained its result on average in the silver sector over the past few years, with some contract suppliers also bringing in gold status.

Farm Sustainability Assessment

Environmental policy and compliance give direction

In addition to these international certifications and the membership in the Sustainable Juice Covenant, AUSTRIA JUICE has also a clear environmental policy and a group-wide compliance management system within the company. For example, 92 percent of the direct energy requirement is currently covered by natural gas. Around 80 percent of the production sites are certified to ISO 50001. Over the past two years, processing at AUSTRIA JUICE has been optimized to the extent that only 17 kilograms of waste per ton of product have been produced.

Conclusion:

Since 2018, AUSTRIA JUICE has been a member of the Sustainable Juice Covenant - an international, strong association of several large companies in the beverage industry, which have set themselves the goal of a consistent development and implementation of common, sustainable standards. By means of strictly regulated certification processes for the individual companies throughout the supply chain, the members of the Sustainable Juice Covenant have set themselves the target of producing 30 percent of the goods sustainably by 2020. By 2030, it should be 100 percent!

Sustainability Report

Jörg SchultzAuthor

Project Manager - Technical R&D and Processes

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