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

  • Release of the first Divisional Sustainability Report

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 Sun Day 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.

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 to 100% of its 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 project in the citrus groves of our Carmito Farm (Sicily) called Precision Farming, a piece of software for improving farm management through the analysis and management of data obtained by machine-learning technologies. The project acquires geo-referenced data like temperature, soil moisture, leaf wetness, air humidity, brightness, windiness, vegetation index, and water balance and uses the results to customise the water supply, releasing only the water dose actually needed for the plants.

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 the use of resources such as water and land, increasingly leveraging on technology to reduce its impact on the environment. One example of this strategy of innovation is the new grapes packhouse in Matroosefonteyn: 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.