Inaugural Horticulture Sustainability Summit in Sydney
Sydney – March 2022 – On Wednesday 23 March 2022, Hort Innovation, and the International Fresh Produce Association hosted the Inaugural Horticulture Sustainability Summit.
Over 50 industry representatives including Coles and Woolworths, numerous industry bodies, service providers, adjacent industries such as Greenlife and Meat & Livestock Australia converged to share sustainability stories, insights and research that impact the Australian Horticulture Industry.
CHEP was represented on an industry panel by Dean Parsons (Sustainability Programmes Manager) along with Warwick Hope (Head of Strategic Sourcing - Fruit and Veg, Woolworths) and Shane Quinn (National Sales Manager, Mulgowie Farming Company).
The panel, hosted by IFPA ANZ CEO Darren Keating, explored topics which included: what sustainability means for each company, the use of data and information to measure tangible sustainability impacts, and the forecast for the next 5 years as the horticulture industry progresses along a sustainability path.
Darren Keating commented that, “When it comes to protecting the stewardship of our land, our people and our local and global reputations, there should be no competition between businesses, just a collective agreement that we are all doing whatever we can to move in a positive direction,” he said.
Hort Innovation Chief Executive Matt Brand said that there’s a historic shift happening in the industry. “Times are rapidly changing, this rise in sustainable business practices is driven by a growing collective conscience that is felt not only by growers but also by the consumers they serve and those that invest in their businesses.”
As part of the keynote panel session, Dean provided use-case examples of CHEP’s Life Cycle Assessments. Based on these assessments, CHEP issues Sustainability Certificates for reusable plastic containers (RPCs) and timber pallets, which in turn then assist customers in quantifying their sustainability impact. Dean also explained CHEP’s Zero Waste World programme and how the business supports customers in becoming more sustainable by eliminating waste, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and closing the gap on food waste and hunger through circular supply chain solutions.
The afternoon’s workshops facilitated discussions on the four focus areas from the 2021 Horticulture Industry Framework (Nourish and Nurture, People & Enterprise, Planet & Resources and Less Waste) and ways in which industry can use its collective resources to turn the framework into action.
Information gathered at the Summit will help inform the Australian-grown Horticulture Sustainability Report. This inaugural reporting document which is aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and expected to be available later in the year will provide baseline data aligned with the focus areas within the Sustainability Framework.
For more information on the Horticulture Sustainability Framework, click here.