Unifrutti’s green revolution

In South East Asia, since 2018 Unifrutti Philippines has been implementing several state-of-the-art environmental protection policies:

  • 6320 new trees planted in one year, for an estimated 140 tonnes of CO2 sequestered

  • 14x less water used each year, compared with competitors

  • 84% reduction of bond paper usage in one year

  • Promotion of plastic recycling policies, resulting in a saving of 74% more plastic in 2019, compared with the previous year

Focus on education

Thanks to the geographical broadness of its activities, the Group has the incredible opportunity of nurturing communities and has always been committed to promoting culture and protecting traditions.

Over the years, the Company has launched several important educational initiatives, including:

  • in South Africa, Unifrutti contributed to the opening of a nursery school for the children of the Sundays River Valley, offering education to over 130 children from the Addo community;

  • in the Philippines, the Group established the Unifrutti Foundation, providing educational opportunities for children and vocational training in various fields to workers. The Company commitment to training professionals has allowed the community to become independent and self-sufficient.

  • In Italy, the Garden of Oranges educational campaign in Italy aims to educate primary school students about fruits' healthiness and sustainable sourcing. The program, in collaboration with the organisation of Producers Terre e Sole di Sicilia, presents how Unifrutti red oranges are grown in Sicily, from the work of the growers, the harvesting and processing and follows the journey until they reach the consumers. As part of this project, a scholarship program was also launched since 2017 focusing on local youth who want to work in the agricultural and farming sector by providing them with technical skills and valuable know-how.

Inclusive agribusiness models

The Unifrutti facility in Mindanao, Philippines, is the Group's success story of implementing investment models and contractual arrangements with positive implications for the livelihood of the local rural communities.

Unifrutti engages with the communities in Mindanao through growership arrangements supervised by Agrarian Reform Cooperatives, non-profit corporations created to assist in the implementation of agrarian reforms to alleviate poverty in the Filipino countryside. These organisations assist cooperatives in negotiating favourable sales contracts with international fruit companies, and provide capacity building, credit access and technology transfer services.

In 2015, the FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS (FAO) took interest in the Unifrutti plantation as a case study to improve the gender opportunities of female workers in rural areas of the Philippines.
Energy & Resources Saving projects

Unifrutti's use of advanced technologies in the field is constantly evolving, to use natural resources in an increasingly responsible manner.

in Italy, Sicilian farms are now using solar energy obtained from photovoltaic systems to power up production and packaging plants. Following the input of the company, local producers carried out a revolution in the field as well, by planting new varieties of blood oranges in Sicily. These latest generation orange groves draw water from new dripline irrigation systems, with a reduction in water consumption of up to 50%.

Furthermore, we developed a three-year pilot project in the citrus groves of our Carmito Farm (Sicily) called "Agriculture 4.0", which is based on the utilisation of specific data (such as but not exclusive to temperature, soil moisture, leaf wetness, air humidity, brightness, windiness, vegetation index, and water balance) obtained from Precision Farming instruments for the purposes of designing a tailor-made system of water and fertilizer distribution. Resource efficiency is therefore optimised as farm managers use this technology to calculate the water and fertilizer consumption.

in South Africa, other key sustainable energy initiatives have been undertaken in the South African operating location, where the Group has undergone a shift from a traditional model to focusing on a more sustainable approach to agriculture.

Unifrutti South Africa is focusing on trying to maximise efficiency in the use of resources, from water to land and energy, increasingly leveraging on technology to reduce environmental impacts. One example of this strategy of innovation is the new grapes packhouse in Matroosefontein: an over 5500 square metre facility that has been optimised to improve its ecological footprint and, thanks to its solar panels, is able to generate over 200kw per day of green energy.