Eosta has won the Eco-Logic Climate Change Award 2021 for its partnership with South African citrus grower Groenheuwel (code 229 on www.natureandmore.com). This was announced by the award organization in South Africa at a festive award ceremony held today, 3 November 2021, during the COP26 climate conference. South Africa is struggling with the climate issue because it is highly dependent on coal, and Groenheuwel’s approach delivers a solution in two areas.
In 2021, Eosta celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its partnership with André and Madaléne Spangenberg, who have produced organic oranges, grapefruits, mandarins and lemons at Groenheuwel, their farm in Augrabies, since 2001. They entered the European market jointly with Eosta, which facilitated a switch to organic cultivation. Eosta regards long-term cooperation as an important point of departure for the creation of a more sustainable food system. André Spangenberg: “We are honoured and thank everyone in Europe who buys our organic citrus fruit. Remember that organic agriculture is better for the climate. It is how you can contribute to a more sustainable world.”
The partnership between Eosta and Groenheuwel was nominated for the Climate Change Award because this organic cultivation method produces fewer emissions and sequesters more carbon in the soil, which are consequences of using compost instead of artificial fertiliser and protecting the soil biome. Moreover, in 2020 Groenheuwel installed 2775 solar panels with which the company generates 2393 MWh of electricity. The warehouse can now be operated largely using solar power. This has an extremely positive impact in South Africa because the South African electricity grid is 84% coal powered.
Current savings of 2.6 million kg of CO2 per year
Soil & More Impacts in Hamburg calculated that the production of organic citrus fruit by Groenheuwel for Eosta in 2020 saved approximately 280,000 kg CO2 in comparison with conventional cultivation, due purely to the growing method. This will amount to a total saving of 5.6 million kg of CO2over the course of 20 years. The meter has been running even faster since 2020. Together with the saving in electricity consumption, which accounts for 2.3 million kg of CO2, approximately 2.6 million kg of CO2 emissions are saved annually. This amount equals the carbon sequestration by 43,000 young trees over 10 years, or the yearly emissions of 310 households (calculator). Organic growth also has a positive impact on the soil, water and biodiversity. You can find more information on the relationship between organic agriculture and the climate here.
Grower with a social heart
Volkert Engelsman, CEO of Eosta, has been visiting André and Madaléne since 2001 and knows them well: “André really has a social heart. During my last visit he took me to a new neighbourhood with beautiful houses, small gardens and car ports. He had built them for his retired employees. Attention is devoted to sport and religion. He takes good care of his employees.” And participation is also effectively arranged – 18 Groenheuwel employees participate in the business through a joint venture called Thusano: ‘standing together’.
Result during COP26
There are Eco-Logic Awards in eleven categories. Eosta warmly congratulates the other winners. To get to know the Spangenbergs better, check www.natureandmore.com with grower code 229. You can find more information on the Eco-Logic Awards on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Enviropaedia.
Eosta, with its Nature & More consumer brand and transparency system, is Europe’s most innovative distributor of organic fruit and vegetables. Eosta is well known for its sustainability campaigns such as Living Wages, True Cost of Food and Dr. Goodfood. The company won the King William I Award for Sustainable Entrepreneurship in 2018, and the European Business Award for the Environment in 2019. See also www.eosta.com and www.natureandmore.com.