Fruits de Ponent talks about circular economy and the SDGs in the company during the Ebro Valley Agro Tech conference

24 de May de 2022

Fruits de Ponent Cooperative Group was one of the companies selected to intervene, this Tuesday, in the Ebro Valley Agro Tech conference held in the Navarran city of Tudela. Fruits de Ponent was represented by Santi Bonet, director of communication and business expansion, who gave a talk on ‘Cooperativism in the 21st century: Circular economy and how to implement the SDGs in the company’.

Ebro Valley Agro Tech is a meeting of startups and innovative agri-food companies from the Ebro Valley. The participating initiatives are located in La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón and Lleida, and have the support of the public entities Development Agency of La Rioja, Centro European Business and Innovation Center of Navarra, the Aragonese Development Institute and the Agrifood Science and Technology Park of Lleida. Two relevant companies from the agri-food sector of each territory also participated, one of which was the Grup Cooperatiu Fruits de Ponent, which focused its intervention on the SDGs and the circular economy.

Thus, Santi Bonet highlighted, regarding the circular economy, the guidelines of Fruits de Ponent in this field. In this sense, he referred to the creation of Ponent Organics, a company of its own to convert vegetable waste and livestock manure into organic fertilizers, thereby improving management and recovering the organic waste generated; the reuse of all the fruit that arrives at the plant, thanks to alliances with companies in the sector (for example, transforming fruit into juices, cosmetics or the use of pits for biomass);

He also referred to the fight against food waste with collaborations with food banks and entities such as local soup kitchens, which dispose of surplus food or fruit that is at its ripening point, with figures that, in the case of the three Fruits de Ponent Agrostores, they represent an average of 1 ton of food saved every 4 months; and, finally, the reuse of water for industry thanks to a treatment plant installed at the Central de Confeccion.

Regarding the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda), Bonet recalled that Fruits de Ponent signed in 2012 its adherence and commitment to the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact, in which the SDGs are framed. The group’s communication director presented different examples of the actions implemented to defend human rights, fight against climate change and defend decent work, which are the principles advocated by the Global Compact.

Thus, and within SDGs 3 (Health and Well-being), 5 (Gender Equality) and 8 (Decent Work), Santi Bonet explained that Grup Cooperatiu Fruits de Ponent has a Healthy Classroom whose objective is to make employees aware of the health care, putting at your disposal all the possible tools to improve your lifestyle, thematic workshops, access to free fruit, promotion of sports races.

Likewise, he reported that an annual blood donation campaign is carried out through the Blood Bank of the Arnau de Vilanova Hospital in Lleida, for workers and members. In addition, all workers with more than two years in the organization have a pension plan created by the company where it makes an annual contribution; there is an Equality plan in the company with an established ‘road map’ for the coming years; equality training is carried out in the workforce; there are protocols against harassment for reasons of sex; two Agents for Equality have been appointed; and non-sexist language is applied.

In the case of SDG 7, referring to Affordable and Non-polluting Energy, Santi Bonet highlighted the installation of more than 4,000 photovoltaic panels on the roof of the different production centers of the company destined to obtain electricity for self-consumption (a total of 7,818 m2, which deliver a power of 1.7 MW of non-polluting energy, which translates into the reduction of 273 tons of CO2 per year). In the same way, in 2020 a total commitment was made to the use of non-polluting energies, so that all the industrial machinery of the different work centers is 100% electric.

Along the same lines, Bonet explained that the renewal of the vehicle fleet has begun, initiating a transition towards a hybrid and/or 100% electric range, and that the company, through its energy business division, Ponent Energía, has of 10 charging points for electric vehicles to promote access to energy, both for staff and for partners and customers.