Corporate social responsibility is of paramount importance to Van Gelder. Therefore, several measures are taken to reduce our ecological footprint. And you can see that in our entire business.
If you choose vegetables that do well in the cold ground in autumn, you will know that these vegetables come from the Dutch soil, and not from a heated greenhouse, or by plane from a warm country. That saves costs. Seasonal vegetables are therefore often cheaper. Besides money, the use of heated greenhouses costs a lot of energy and a lot of CO2 is released when fruit and vegetables fly in. The vegetables from our own country are therefore much better for the environment.
Every year a different part of the plant develops. And that's what we're trying to capitalize on by promoting seasonal vegetables. Doing business with Van Gelder means you know where your products come from and reducing your 'ecological footprint' on this planet.
We do almost all our purchases with sustainable suppliers who also implement a CSR policy themselves. Our suppliers are GlobalGAP and ISO certified. In addition, our suppliers are also our partners and we support them where possible in the field of CSR.
Our (new) state-of-the-art business premises meets the highest BREEAM requirements and is breeam outstanding certified. This is a methodology to assess the sustainability performance of real estate. For example, we use the residual heat that is released when cooling production rooms for heating the other rooms and the roof is full of solar panels. Among other things, because of these innovations, we do not need a gas connection and we reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, waste recycling plays a major role and vegetable waste from production areas is puréed and used as a basis for bio fuel. Washing water is also purified and reused and the rainwater is also collected and used for the flushing of the toilets. All these measures ensure that our business premises are among the top 5 most sustainable buildings in the Netherlands.
Fresh products have to do with a (limited) shelf life, but throwing away is of course a shame! That's why we work with a number of food banks in our area. Every Monday and Friday they are allowed to pick up the products with a tight THT to distribute it to the people who can use this well.
We work with PlantLab in the field of vertical farming. This is a new method by which crops are grown in multiple layers on top of each other in a completely closed growing environment. With this cooperation we are working together on growing and marketing fresh vegetables with more flavour, rich in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and with a constant and very high level of food safety. These fresh products are produced close to the customer regardless of the season or climate. This reduces CO2 emissions in transport and waste in the production chain. The product is also free of pesticides and we reduce water use in production by up to 95%.
Every year we receive different classes of primary and secondary schools from the area to take them into the rich world of fruit and vegetables. Awareness of healthy food and getting acquainted with unknown/forgotten fruit and vegetables play an important role during these visits. For our Experience Center, we are even developing special educational programs for schools/students.