Lidl, the certifier GLOBAL G.A.P. and other partners have completed the development of an industry-wide standard for the protection of biodiversity in conventional fruit and vegetable production in Europe.
Partners include the FiBL Spin-off Sustainable Food Systems GmbH (SFS) in the role of project management, as well as the Global Nature Fund, Bioland, the Lake Constance Foundation and Nürtingen-Geislingen University as scientific partners.
Agencies and agricultural producers were involved in development and piloting of the standard in Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain, in order to take practical requirements into account. The new add-on module was explicitly developed for all market participants, from producers to distributors.
Thus, with immediate effect, the GLOBALG.A.P. Add-On BioDiversity is available to all market participants as an add-on module to the established GLOBALG.A.P. standard for good agricultural practices.
Lidl itself will be the first European food retailer to work with the standard, with the first phase being to roll out the standard for more than 250 producers from various European countries. Thereafter, Lidl will aim to bring the standard to all European fruit and vegetable producers.
“The introduction of the first biodiversity standard in conventional European fruit and vegetable production shows how important initiative and cooperation are,” noted Ioannis Karanatsios, Member of the Board, Lidl Greece and Cyprus Purchasing Department.
“The standard now makes it possible to establish minimum requirements for biodiversity across the whole sector. It is symbolic of our ambition to drive industry-wide change in order to advance one of the most pressing challenges of our time: the conservation of biodiversity.”
Marion Hammerl, President of Global Nature Fund, stated: “It is scientifically proven that biodiversity loss is the biggest challenge for our planet – and for agriculture – next to climate change.
“The add-on helps protect biodiversity by setting a cut-off date for conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land, requiring a biodiversity management plan, establishing more effective criteria for soil conservation and integrated pest management, and more.
“The reference to the farm’s interaction with neighbouring landscapes is a first step towards a landscape-based approach – urgently needed to halt biodiversity loss.”
Protecting biodiversity is one of the greatest challenges in the food sector. “Respecting biodiversity” therefore represents one of six strategic focus topics of the Lidl sustainability strategy. In this way, Lidl is emphasising the importance of a diverse and intact natural environment for its own business and its food offering for a better tomorrow.
Therefore, the joint development of the GLOBAL G.A.P Add-On is in line with Lidl’s biodiversity strategy, which includes a clear approach to driving forward the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity.
This initially concerns identifying raw materials whose cultivation is associated with particularly high risks to biodiversity. Among other things, a dedicated biodiversity risk tool has been developed for this purpose.
More information about the Add-On can be found at: https://globalgap.org/biodiversity
Further details on Lidl’s commitment to biodiversity can be found at: https://corporate.lidl.com.cy/en/responsibility/biodiversity
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