12 Jan 2023
Westfalia shaping the sustainable future of food
As global food producers meet in Germany at Fruit Logistica 2023, the world’s leading exhibition for fresh produce (8-10 Feb), the Westfalia Fruit Group, a multinational supplier of avocados and a range of fresh vegetables and fruit, is showcasing three innovative agricultural approaches that are helping to shape the future of food through sustainable development.
Helping smallholder farmers realise big ambitions
In Africa, South America and beyond Westfalia Fruit is growing its partnerships with smallholder farmers to help provide access to global markets and empower them to build sustainable livelihoods, lifting communities out of poverty while meeting burgeoning consumer demand for avocados and other fruits.
One example is in Peru where Westfalia is collaborating with a cooperative of 80 experienced avocado producers to help them achieve Global G.A.P. certification with another collective of growers having successfully achieved Rain Forest Alliance certification in 2022. In Tanzania, Westfalia has supported a group of farmers to develop avocado production for the late international marketing window.
Empowerment through education
Education is a powerful tool that changes lives and the world over. The legacy of Westfalia’s iconic founder, Dr Hans Merensky, is the Foundation he created to provide support for students to study a range of subjects, with a focus on agriculture-related disciplines.
In the past three years in South Africa, for example, Westfalia has awarded 45 bursaries and enrolled more than 100 candidates in apprenticeship and learnership programmes, many of whom were facing an uncertain future. In Chile, the company is working with several schools focussing on the environment and education, while both in Chile and Colombia Westfalia supports colleagues with study time off work, creating more opportunities so they are able to develop their employment prospects.
Pioneering research and development
Westfalia is a world leader in applied research dealing with subtropical crops, with a specific focus on avocados and its research division is the largest privately-funded subtropical fruit research organisation in the world.
The in-house dedicated team of scientists and technicians in South Africa, and at regional hubs around the world, focuses on three key research areas to drive the industry forward: breeding programmes, increasing the effective use of biological and organic inputs and continuous development and exploration that all have an impact on sustainability and food security.
Notes for editors
About Westfalia Fruit
The multinational Westfalia Fruit Group is a leading supplier of fresh and processed produce to international markets, offering a diverse range of quality fruit and related products via its vertically integrated supply chain. Founded over 70 years ago on guiding environmental, social, governance & sustainability principles. These practices, premised on the legacy of Dr Hans Merensky are at the heart of all that is done by the Group – “To Do Good”, – of which continue to underpin our approach today.
Today, operating in 15 countries spread over 5 continents, the Westfalia Fruit Group prides itself on advancing sustainable agricultural practices and being a responsible corporate citizen within the communities in which it operates.
As a frontrunner in the avocado industry, Westfalia grows, sources, ripens, packs, processes, and markets accredited avocados across the globe throughout the year. Value-added products include avocado oil, low-preservative guacamole, frozen avocado, and dried fruit.
Westfalia grows fruit in all major origins in the Americas and Africa and sources from partner orchards, giving the Group the most diverse avocado-growing footprint in the world. Westfalia’s dynamic and integrated supply chain from research to the consumer benefits all stakeholders. The Group’s research division, Westfalia Technological Services, is the world’s largest privately funded subtropical fruit research unit. Its dedicated team of scientists and technicians focus on varietal development, innovation, and environmental matters, and provides a pivotal role in defining the future of the global avocado industry.
A supplier of choice to retail, wholesale, and food-service customers, Westfalia operates sales offices in the UK, Europe, North America, Latin America, southern Africa, and Asia. Fruit is packed in diverse formats and expertly ripened to deliver optimal eating quality. For more information visit www.westfaliafruit.com.
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