Princes has announced a partnership with Italian agricultural organisation Coldiretti to mark a definitive step forward in enhancing the ethical, environmental and economic value of the tomato supply chain in southern Italy.
Through the partnership, Princes will provide financial stability for growers through guaranteed three-year supply contracts, while ensuring that the pricing of tomatoes reflects the true costs of farming to enable the long-term sustainability of the industry. The partnership was officially signed at a ceremony at Coldiretti’s head office in Rome on Tuesday, attended by Jill Morris CMG, the British Ambassador to Italy.
As part of the commitment, farmers will also be obliged to implement cutting-edge agronomic technologies to reduce water consumption and the use of pesticides.The partnership also includes a commitment by Coldiretti farmers to develop and participate in Blockchain digital traceability technology to monitor and protect workers’ safety rights throughout the supply chain. Additionally, Coldiretti will provide transport support for seasonal workers for signatory farms, and maintain an annual training commitment that encompasses environmental, social and economic sustainability.
The partnership marks the latest in a series of significant milestones for Princes in Italy.
In 2018 100 percent of the tomatoes it processed from its Italian supply chain came from farms with independent ethical accreditation through either Global GAP GRASP or SA8000 accreditation.
Princes Corporate Relations Director David McDiarmid said: “This partnership demonstrates our commitments to ensuring growers in our supply chain are economically, ethically and environmentally supported across southern Italy. We believe it can also enhance the reputation of the Italian tomato industry as a whole”.
“With the support of Coldiretti, and other stakeholders we will continue to be active in our supply chain to improve and create better value for all involved, including farm workers. This agreement reflects the shared desire that exists for innovation and change to historical ways of working in the tomato supply chain. Today we process in the region of 300,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes annually from our Foggia facility, this includes all our Napolina brand portfolio as well as customer own brand products which align with our own ethical stance, which are then marketed and distributed across Europe. We feel this initiative is another significant step forward in the enhancement of the Italian tomato supply chain and also the continued improvement in supply chain transparency will be a key driver in increasing stakeholder awareness and ultimate engagement in this process”.