Together with partners, Lidl is developing the first biodiversity-focused farming standard for conventional fruit and vegetable production. This will be available to all producers in conjunction with the established GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Standard (IFA), by the end of 2021.
Lidl is thus actively driving forward the protection of biodiversity as part of its sustainability strategy. The loss of biodiversity poses an existential threat to ecosystems. As a supplier of food, near-food and non-food products, Lidl is aware of its responsibility to preserve ecosystems.
“Biodiversity and healthy ecosystems form the essential basis for a rich assortment, and especially for the production of fruits and vegetables,” noted Lidl Cyprus purchasing department board member Ioannis Karanatsios. “If we protect them, we not only create the basis for a high-quality range, but also ensure high-yield harvests at the same time.”
To develop the standard, Lidl is working with internationally-recognised sustainable food systems and agricultural experts to develop an add-on module to promote biodiversity in conventional agriculture. The focus of these efforts is Europe.
Lidl’s partners in this initiative include project leader Sustainable Food Systems GmbH (SFS), as well as the Global Nature Fund, Bioland, the Lake Constance Foundation, representatives of agricultural producers and Nürtingen-Geislingen University.
The multi-stakeholder approach considers different perspectives and thus promises high acceptance.
The new add-on, operated by farm assurance programme GLOBALG.A.P., is being developed explicitly for all market participants, from producers to distributors.
“Lidl’s initiative to mainstream biodiversity in fruit and vegetable production fits very well with the GLOBALG.A.P. vision to promote safe and responsible food production worldwide,” said GLOBALG.A.P. managing director Kristian Moeller.
The GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Standard (IFA), covers good agricultural practices for all forms of agricultural production.
With the biodiversity add-on, fruit and vegetable producers will have their own agricultural practices for biodiversity conservation audited as part of the annual IFA audit. Thanks to this independent control by qualified auditors, producers will be able to make their commitment visible to all food retailers. In order to make this far-reaching standard a reality together with the farmers, appropriate support measures such as training will be offered where necessary.
As for the participation of environmental foundation Global Nature Fund (GNF), it is contributing its long experience of working with standards and companies in the food sector to improve biodiversity protection.
The new add-on joins existing measures for biodiversity conservation, including the range of organic foods and Lidl’s own Bio Organic brand.
Further information on Lidl’s commitment to biodiversity can be found here.
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