Albert Heijn has announced that it will follow through with its commitment not to transport unprocessed fruit and vegetables by flying.
The largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands initially made the commitment last year, and has now confirmed that from June 2023, fruit and vegetables, such as sugar snaps, haricots verts and passion fruit, will only be transported by sea container or road transport.
In recent years, in collaboration with growers and suppliers, Albert Heijn has worked alternative transport options or other cultivation areas.
More Sustainable Options
The retailer claimed air transport is not a sustainable means of transport due to its climate impact and half of the fruit and vegetables sourced by Albert Heijn come from the Netherlands.
In recent years, it has sold more than 40 million more products from the Netherlands, such as strawberries in the summer season or early Elstar apples.
Other products that have been coming from the Netherlands all year round include conference pears and potatoes.
On a small scale, Albert Heijn is currently testing cultivation of Dutch ginger, usually imported from China or South America.
'Change Is Needed'
"From 1 June 2023, all our unprocessed fruit and vegetables will be transported via sea container or road transport. You don't make such a choice overnight, we also have a responsibility towards our suppliers that we have worked with for decades," said Henk van Harn, director of merchandising and sourcing at Albert Heijn.
"Change is needed throughout the food production chain. Albert Heijn does this on the basis of its mission to make 'better food accessible together. For everyone.' We believe it is important to be responsible for our share of environmental impact. We want to keep the impact of our activities as small as possible," van Harn added.
© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest supply chain news. Article by Robert McHugh. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.