14.06.2018 VBT presents the third Responsibly Fresh sustainability report and proposes a new sustainability strategy

Over recent years, the Belgian fruit and vegetable cooperatives, better known as ‘the auctions’ and their growers, have been honouring their pledges to commit themselves to sustainable development.

In 2012, VBT, along with its member marketing cooperatives and the associated growers, launched the collective sustainability project and label Responsibly Fresh. VBT itself, the marketing cooperatives and the growers each made specific commitments. The sustainability challenges in the cooperatively organised fresh fruit and vegetable sector are to be tackled collectively. This makes the collective character of Responsibly Fresh unique.

Six years down the line, this third sustainability report gives a snapshot of what we have been doing. Since the project started in 2012, the participants have made definite progress in terms of sustainable development. There have been positive developments in economic, environmental and social terms alike. The sustainability report has been handed over today by VBT, with the Responsibly Fresh marketing cooperatives in attendance, to Flemish Agriculture Minister Joke Schauvliege.

Below, you find the link to the full press release, to the Sustainability Report Responsibly Fresh 2012-2018 and the new Sustainability strategy.

Press release

Sustainability report Responisbly Fresh 2012-2018 

New Sustainability strategy 

15.06.2016 VBT presents the second sustainability report Responsibly Fresh

The Belgian fruit and vegetable marketing cooperatives, better known as 'the auctions', and their producers are delivering on their commitments to sustainable development. In 2012, VBT teamed up with the auctions and their producers to form the collective sustainability project and label Responsibly Fresh. At that time, the various participants each made a specific commitment. 

The second sustainability report, which covers the period 2014-2015, shows that te participants have succeeded in their task and are constantly working to develop sustainably. For this purpose the collective character of the project remains important. The sustainability report has been handed over today by VBT to the Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois in the presence of the participating auctions.  

Below, you find the link to the full press release and to the Sustainability Report Responsibly Fresh 2014-2015.

Press release

Sustainability report Responsibly Fresh 2014-2015

01.09.2014 Responsibly Fresh cooperatives receive certificate sustainable business charter

During the past summer months,  the Responsibly Fresh cooperatives have received their certificate for a sustainable business charter for the cycle 2013-2014. The charters are an initiative of the provincial authorities and/or the Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VOKA) and are a condition for participation in and use of the sustainability label Responsibly Fresh. In the context of the charter, specific action points on various sustainability topics were implemented. In June, an independent external audit was conducted to measure the efforts and the progress on the various action points. The audits had a positive outcome and the Responsibly Fresh cooperatives obtained a certificate for the charter.
Within Responsibly Fresh, sustainability is not an endpoint, but a process of continuous development. Therefore, the participants already committed again to the charter, for the cycle 2014-2015.

18.06.2014 Sustainability Report Responsibly Fresh 2012-2013

The Belgian fruit and vegetable auctions are joining forces to promote sustainable development. Two years ago, in February 2012, they launched the collective sustainability label Responsibly Fresh. Since then, the auctions involved in the initiative - Belgische Fruitveiling, BelOrta, Limburgse Tuinbouwveiling, REO Veiling en Veiling Hoogstraten - along with the associated producers, have been continuing to work tirelessly. The certificates have been obtained en renewed for sustainable business charters and for the specific quality systems; collective work has been conducted on a range of sustainability criteria. Veiling Haspengouw has also recently signed up to participate in Responsibly Fresh. The details of the efforts being made are being collated in the first Responsibly Fresh sustainability report. The report has been presented on Wednesday 18.06.2014 by the VBT, in the presence of the participating auctions, to the Members of the Flemish Provincial Executives with responsibility for Agriculture.  
Below, you find the link to the full press release and to the Sustainability Report Responsibly Fresh 2012-2013.

Press release

Sustainability Report Responsibly Fresh 2012-2013

06.03.2014 ICQM Standard turns into Vegaplan Standard

From 01.03.2014 the ICQM Standard turns into the "Vegaplan Standard". The transformation not only includes a name change, but also a broadening of the certification scope. From now on, the standard also contains the European and regional requirements concerning Integrated Pest Management and measures related to sustainable development. More information is provided on the Vegaplan website.

06.02.2013 - Responsibly Fresh:           A year later

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the launch of Responsibly Fresh, VBT gives you a state of play of the participating producers' cooperatives and their growers.

Press release


20.12.2012 - Producers' cooperatives on a sustainable road

The use of the sustainability label Responsibly Fresh requires that producers' cooperatives have signed up to a Sustainable Business Charter, as offered and monitored by external organisations.
A state of play of participants:

Mechelse Veilingen & Jaarrapport Duurzaam-heid 2011 (NL)

REO Veiling & Charter 2011-2013 (NL)

Veiling Borgloon & Charter 2012-2013 (NL)

Veiling Hoogstraten & Charter 2012-2013 (NL)