The Fairtrade and Climate Neutral Bananas project, which we worked on with PLUS Retail, Fyffes and SIM Supply Chain Management, was completed in the autumn of 2019. We used blockchain technology to make the banana production chain transparent. Consumers can see the route from the plantations in Colombia to the shelves of PLUS supermarkets via a QR code on the banana. They can also see what the CO2 emissions are. The non-bagged bananas sold in PLUS supermarkets have been Fairtrade certified for 10 years and are now also guaranteed to be climate neutral. By being fully transparent, PLUS lets people know where the bananas come from and gives them insight into everything that is being done for people, nature and the climate.

CO2 Becomes Visible Through Blockchain Technology

Transparency in the production chain is becoming increasingly important. There is growing consumer demand for responsible, honest products as well as more interest in the origin of products. Bananas are the product most often purchased in the supermarket. By mapping the CO2 in the banana production chain, it becomes clear where the most sustainability impact and improvements can be achieved. This helps PLUS to have an even more positive impact on people, nature and the climate. With the application of blockchain technology, all steps in the chain from plantation to shopping basket are recorded, linked and made transparent. The blockchain also contains information about when the bananas were harvested, socially responsibility programs and the CO2 emissions per link in the chain. Blockchain technology also shows immediately the effect of reduction measures on a specific plantation or elsewhere in the chain.

The First Supermarket with Climate Neutral Bananas

PLUS sees reducing its impact on the environment as an important responsibility. In equatorial areas, the consequences of climate change are particularly noticeable. The weather is unpredictable, with floods during heavy rainfall and water shortages in times of drought. To actively contribute to combatting climate change, PLUS has made all of its non-bagged bananas climate neutral by offsetting the remaining CO2 emissions with Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) projects.

Climate Neutral Certification from A to Zero CO2

The first step is mapping the Carbon Footprint. At every point in the banana’s journey, PLUS works with her partners to reduce CO2 emissions. Maersk, for example, makes enormous efforts to limit the CO2 emissions of sea freight transport. A start has also been made with the use of new ripening cells that can achieve a 30% savings in CO2. The remaining emissions are offset through sustainable energy projects. This entire process of measuring, reducing and offsetting the Carbon Footprint of non-bagged bananas is verified annually according to the Climate Neutral Certification Standard. The bananas may be labeled a Climate Neutral Product. And it’s not just bananas – all the coffee and tea products in the PLUS house brand are also certified climate neutral.

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