News

Princes unveils breakthrough partnership with Coldiretti for Italian farmers

19/02/2019

International food and drink group 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.

Growers will also have access to unique grant and financing opportunities as part of the agreement.

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. Princes and Coldiretti hope this will result in higher environmental standards across the industry.

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 official transport for seasonal agricultural 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.

Last year, the business announced that 100 percent of the tomatoes it processed from its Italian supply chain in 2018 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.

Ms Jill Morris UK Ambassador to Italy said : The agreement is an excellent example of the UK and Italy working together to encourage prosperity in the agriculture sector, but also to promote an ethical approach to supply chains, ensuring that labourers are treated fairly across the business.”

Princes Italian products Commercial Director Neil Brownbill says “Since 2015, the business has built capacity and awareness amongst its suppliers to align with these initiatives, conducting over 4,000 in-field inspections of growers and farming cooperatives in its supply chain. Princes also has complete visibility of the movement of tomatoes during the annual harvest traceable through a GPS system installed on its trucks”

“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”.

News

Princes reports 100 percent ethical accreditation in tomato processing

07/12/2018

International food and drink group Princes has announced 100 percent of the tomatoes it processed from its Italian supply chain in 2018 came from farms with independent ethical accreditation.

At the end of the 2018 tomato season, all the tomatoes Princes processed came from a source farm in Puglia that holds either Global GAP GRASP or SA8000 accreditation.

Global GAP is the worldwide standard for agricultural practice and GRASP is a voluntary, ready-to-use module, developed to assess social practices on farms, including workers’ health, safety and welfare, contracts, wages and freedom of representation.

Since 2015, the business has built capacity and awareness in its supply chain, conducting over 4,000 (980 in 2018) in-field inspections of growers and farming cooperatives in its supply chain. Princes also has complete visibility of the movement of tomatoes during the annual harvest traceable through a GPS system installed on its trucks.

The Ethical Trading Initiative, a leading global alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe, awarded Princes full membership status this year as a result of the commitment the company has shown to workers’ rights throughout its supply chain.

Princes processes in the region of 300,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes annually from its Foggia facility, creating a number of products for its Napolina range and retailer own brand, which are then marketed and distributed across Europe.

The majority of these tomatoes are mechanically harvested but unlike other Italian processors Princes does not rely on this as being a guarantee of ethical compliance.

Princes has also recently launched a migrant worker employment scheme. “Lavoro Senza Frontiere” or “Work Without Borders”, intended to secure fulfilling and safe employment opportunities within their factory operation in Foggia for out of work migrants . The scheme has been established in partnership with the charity group Caritas that actively supports the migrant community in Foggia.

Princes Corporate Relations Director David McDiarmid / Managing Director Gianmarco Laviola said: “We are passionate about pursuing and encouraging social sustainability in the tomato supply chain. We have worked hard with our direct suppliers and their growers to reach this 100 percent ethical accreditation goal and improve the lives of workers in our supply chain. We also firmly believe this work enhances the reputation of the Italian tomato industry.

“We hold regular conferences to encourage the tomato supply chain to redefine its ethical standards, and continue to use our voice to urge all European supply chain stakeholders to deepen their understanding of the causes of labour issues in Italian agriculture as well as collaborating on solutions.”

News

Princes achieves 30 percent recycled HDPE in soft drinks

01/08/2018

From the end of July, all High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) bottles used for chilled juice drinks will be manufactured using 30 percent recycled material. Princes will use 30 percent recycled HDPE in its Princes Real brand and several retailer own label products, encompassing some 18 million bottles a year.

The announcement follows Princes confirmation that it is implementing 51 percent recycled PET across its drinks and oils products by September this year.

David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director for Princes, said: “We are pleased to have achieved this further milestone in the recycled content of the plastics we use. Following on from our recent announcement on PET bottles we have a strong position on the recycled content in our drinks business. Our ultimate goal is to reach the maximum possible recycled content for all the plastics we use as soon as we possibly can.

“We hope there will be an improvement in the feed stock of plastics to the UK recycling industry as collections improve, consumers recycle more and technology advances”

Princes was also amongst the first to market with the innovative switch to double-strength squash in 2008 which significantly reduced the amount of plastic packaging used in such products.

Princes is committed to ongoing packaging reduction projects to reduce the weight of plastics. One such project resulted in a 200 tonne reduction in the use of PET last year.

News

Princes achieves full Ethical Trading Initiative membership

01/08/2018

International food and drink group Princes has announced that it has achieved full membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a leading global alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe.

The award of full membership recognises Princes rapid progress in its ethical trade strategy addressing supply chain issues, leading by example through regular senior-level engagement and work to pursue and encourage social sustainability in the Italian tomato supply chain.

ETI membership is conferred to companies that have demonstrated they have adopted a commitment to ethical trade through a code of labour practice that they expect all their suppliers to work towards. These codes address a diverse range of issues such as fair wages, hours of work, health and safety and the right to join free trade unions.

The announcement of full ETI membership follows a number of recent milestone achievements towards the business’ focus on being a Fair Partner and Good Employer. At the end of the 2017 Italian tomato season, 81 percent of farms in the Princes supply chain held either Global Gap GRASP or SA8000 accreditation, and 87 percent of all the tomatoes Princes processed came from an accredited source. Princes has committed to increasing this figure to 100 percent in 2018.

Earlier this year, the business also announced it is on track to supply 100% responsibly sourced tuna by the end of 2019 for all brands in all territories, having already reached the level of 90% at the end of 2017. Princes’ two tuna processing sites in Mauritius also both hold SA8000 certification for social accountability.

David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director for Princes, said: “We are very pleased to have achieved this recognition from the Ethical Trading Initiative, particularly as this has been reached 12 months ahead of our initial target date for doing so. This status reflects the collective focus and drive we have demonstrated in working towards embedding ethical trade within our business. “While we are pleased with this progress, we are not at all complacent. We take a partnership-led approach to our relationships with suppliers, many of whom are setting outstanding examples in ethical compliance, and it is through collaboration with customers and partners that we will tackle issues and deliver on our vision of improving the lives of workers in our supply chain.”

Peter McAllister, Executive Director of ETI, said: “We’re delighted with the progress Princes has made as a member of ETI and with the commitment they’ve shown to workers’ rights throughout their supply chain. We’ve been particularly impressed by their work in Mauritius on ethical recruitment practices and in the Italian tomato sector where they’ve been a driving force in tackling the exploitation of migrant workers. We look forward to working with them over the coming months and years as their ethical trade journey goes from strength to strength.”

Companies that join ETI must adopt the ETI Base Code in full. The ETI Base Code is derived from the standards of the International Labour Organisation, and is an internationally recognised code of labour practice. They must also sign up to our Principles of Implementation, which set out the approaches to ethical trade that member companies should follow. Member companies must also play an active part in ETI activities alongside their trade union and NGO colleagues, including in members’ meetings, projects and working groups.

News

Princes achieves over 50 percent recycled plastic on soft drinks and oils

23/05/2018

Food and drink group Princes has become one of the first major food and drink manufacturers in the UK to declare the bottles in its soft drinks and oils ranges will be made with over 50 percent recycled plastic.

Princes will start manufacturing its drinks and oils products in 51 percent RPET (recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) in May and expects to have transitioned all branded and own label products by the end of September.

Princes uses PET bottles within its market-leading brand ranges including Aqua Pura, Jucee, Napolina and Crisp ‘n Dry. It also manufactures customer own brand soft drinks and oils in PET bottles for national retailers.

Princes produces approximately seven percent of all the plastic bottles used in the UK each year and all of its PET bottles are 100% recyclable.

David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director for Princes, said: “We want to increase the recycled content of all the plastic we use and have been working for some time to implement 51 percent RPET, as it’s by far our biggest area of plastic usage. We have a strong track record, having pioneered the use of RPET back in 2009 and progressively increased its use in all the drinks we produce as availability and supply improved to the point where we attained a 25% inclusion level in all soft drinks in 2015 .We were also amongst the first to market with the innovative switch to double-strength squash in 2008 which significantly reduced the amount of plastic packaging used in these products.

“This is a significant step for not only ourselves, but the wider grocery industry too as we will reach millions of households through our supply of brands and customer own brand soft drinks and oils.

“This move is part of Princes wider work on plastics in our business. We will not commit beyond what is possible but clearly we want to reach a position of fully recycled content for all plastics as soon as we can. Recycling technology and scalability is developing all the time and if local authority collections improve and Deposit Return Schemes are successfully introduced we hope there will be an improvement in the feed stock of plastics to the recycling industry.

“We recognise that too much plastic packaging is thrown away and that much more effort needs to be made by all stakeholders to reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle all types of plastic.

“Ensuring consumers know how to responsibly recycle plastic and understand their role in this, as well as taking a fresh approach to collection and UK recycling infrastructure are key steps in closing the loop. We are committed to working in partnership to achieve this, and continuing to play as significant a role as we can.” 

Princes has also committed to ongoing packaging reduction projects to reduce the weight of plastics. One such project resulted in a 200 tonne reduction in the use of PET last year.

News

Princes reports Italian tomato ethical update

29/01/2018

International food and drink group Princes has announced significant progress in improving ethical standards throughout its Italian tomato supply chain.

At the end of the 2017 Italian tomato season, 81 percent of farms in its supply chain held either Global Gap GRASP or SA8000 accreditation and 87 percent of all the tomatoes Princes processed came from an accredited source.

Princes has committed to increasing these figures to 100 percent in 2018.

Princes processes in the region of 300,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes annually from its Foggia site, creating a number of products for its Napolina range and retailer own brand, which are then marketed and distributed across Europe.

Global G.A.P is the world’s leading farm assurance standard that ensures good agricultural practice and GRASP is a voluntary, ready-to-use module, developed to assess social practices on farms, including workers’ health, safety and welfare , contracts, wages and freedom of representation.

Princes Corporate Relations Director David McDiarmid said: “We have been actively pursuing and encouraging social sustainability in the tomato supply chain, and urge all European supply chain stakeholders to deepen their understanding of labour issues in Italian agriculture. There needs to be an appreciation of the role each link in the chain – whether retailer, processor or farmer – has in effecting positive change and ensuring a long-term sustainable future for the industry.

“The reported accreditation figures have been possible as a result of capacity building we have undertaken in recent years, such as conducting in field inspections, providing step-by-step training for growers, holding ethical outreach events at our site in Foggia with the support of many of our customers and bodies such as the Ethical Trading Initiative. We are pleased with our progress but are not complacent.

“There are examples of ethical excellence from many of our suppliers, and they act as benchmarks showing the wider industry that there is a constructive and effective approach to labour management that creates value throughout the supply chain. We remain committed to taking action ourselves where we can, but also collaborating with customers and partners on tackling these issues.

“Napolina has been at the heart of Italian style cooking for over 50 years. We are committed to continuing to celebrate its Italian credentials, and ethical practices must be at the forefront of this.”