Avebe

Avebe is a cooperative of starch-potato growers focused on the market. Traditionally we only focused on extracting starch from potatoes. However, by developing innovative methods we now also extract proteins from potatoes that are intended for the food industry. But there is more…. To us a potato is a source of opportunities with even more ingredients that can be turned into value. In other words, if it’s in there, we’ll extract it!

Avebe's strategy clearly expresses its ambitions and objectives for the future. The cooperation for and with the customer is central. But what do market-oriented potato cultivation and the reduction of the ecological footprint mean in practice? Hans Jöhr, senior executive at Nestlé, and Peter-Erik Ywema, Sustainability Director at Avebe, have the answers.

PETER-ERIK YWEMA
Sustainability Director of Avebe

Balance and biodiversity
“Sustainability is always about balance”, says Ywema. According to him, the ecosystem is a priority. “You're making your own production capacity more future-proof. If you keep the soil healthy, you have a resilient soil. The farmer of the future takes account of his environment and makes use of good biodiversity.” 

According to him, the plans and demands of customers are not ambitious. “It's realistic. Our major customers, such as Nestlé, realise that they depend on the grower for a good and stable supply of raw materials and that sustainable agriculture is the way to achieve this. For these companies, it's a question of protecting the supply chain. For us it’s about the resilience of the farmer.”

Collaboration is central
Avebe sees an important role for the cooperative in this transition. Collaboration is central “In Binding and Building 2.0, we've agreed on important sustainability targets for factory production, but also for the grower. A great and durable product is something you make together. The organisation can facilitate this”, says the passionate sustainability director.

Precision agriculture 
The Optimeel crop optimisation programme is an important instrument in this respect. This programme includes crop registration, which creates a basis for sustainability. It makes it clear to customers how the raw material was produced. “We want to make that system as simple as possible and usable by everyone. At the same time, we're considering follow-up steps for growers who see opportunities for things like more climatefriendly production or the strengthening of biodiversity. This can be done with precision agriculture, where you look at site-specific fertilisation and crop protection. Awareness plays a major role in this.” Ywema: “When you know which measures have a major impact on the environment and on your income, it's easier to make choices. So you can work together on an upward spiral.”

MUST STILL
BE THERE
TOMORROW

THE QUALITY 
OF TODAY

HANS JŌHR

Jöhr is Corporate Head of Agriculture at Nestlé in Switzerland and is responsible for the 'Farmer Connect' procurement programme. This programme deals with the group's agricultural raw materials and concerns some 700,000 farmers in more than 53 countries. 

Affordable and available
“It's about keeping raw materials affordable and available. You want to guarantee that the quality you deliver today will still be there tomorrow. Sustainability is a mindset”, says Jöhr. In his view, therefore, it's not a question of regulation or details, but of a much broader approach. It means dealing with your environment consciously and looking at your own operational management. “Identify the critical points. Sometimes it's about sick leave, but it can also be about water shortage. The extent to which you are able to cope with these changing circumstances is what sustainability is all about.” 

Being compliant
Being compliant is part of that. This means that agricultural entrepreneurs must comply with all the preconditions and laws and regulations. “That's a basis on which to supply the food manufacturers. But also make sure you communicate about your sustainability efforts”, Jöhr emphasises. According to the Nestlé man, that's where the biggest gains are to be made. At the same time, that's also the starting point. “It's a lateral way of thinking. Don't look at your own company, but look at the demand of your customer, the consumer. Do you understand and accept the questions they ask? That's the basis for sustainable enterprise.” 

About Nestlé

GOODFOOD, GOODLIFE

Nestle is the world's largest food company with headquarters in Switzerland and offices in more than 190 countries. The company has over 2000 brands under its wing, including iconic brands such as Nespresso and Maggi. Worldwide, Nestlé has an extensive sustainability programme aimed at three clear ambitions: contributing to a healthier life, improving the quality of life and minimising the impact on the environment. 

THE QUALITY 
OF TODAY

MUST STILL
BE THERE
TOMORROW

Avebe's strategy clearly expresses its ambitions and objectives for the future. The cooperation for and with the customer is central. But what do market-oriented potato cultivation and the reduction of the ecological footprint mean in practice? Hans Jöhr, senior executive at Nestlé, and Peter-Erik Ywema, Sustainability Director at Avebe, have the answers.

PETER-ERIK YWEMA

Balance and biodiversity
“Sustainability is always about balance”, says Ywema. According to him, the ecosystem is a priority. “You're making your own production capacity more future-proof. If you keep the soil healthy, you have a resilient soil. The farmer of the future takes account of his environment and makes use of good biodiversity.” 

According to him, the plans and demands of customers are not ambitious. “It's realistic. Our major customers, such as Nestlé, realise that they depend on the grower for a good and stable supply of raw materials and that sustainable agriculture is the way to achieve this. For these companies, it's a question of protecting the supply chain. For us it’s about the resilience of the farmer.”

Collaboration is central
Avebe sees an important role for the cooperative in this transition. Collaboration is central “In Binding and Building 2.0, we've agreed on important sustainability targets for factory production, but also for the grower. A great and durable product is something you make together. The organisation can facilitate this”, says the passionate sustainability director.

Precision agriculture 
The Optimeel crop optimisation programme is an important instrument in this respect. This programme includes crop registration, which creates a basis for sustainability. It makes it clear to customers how the raw material was produced. “We want to make that system as simple as possible and usable by everyone. At the same time, we're considering follow-up steps for growers who see opportunities for things like more climatefriendly production or the strengthening of biodiversity. This can be done with precision agriculture, where you look at site-specific fertilisation and crop protection. Awareness plays a major role in this.” Ywema: “When you know which measures have a major impact on the environment and on your income, it's easier to make choices. So you can work together on an upward spiral.”

HANS JŌHR

Jöhr is Corporate Head of Agriculture at Nestlé in Switzerland and is responsible for the 'Farmer Connect' procurement programme. This programme deals with the group's agricultural raw materials and concerns some 700,000 farmers in more than 53 countries. 

Affordable and available
“It's about keeping raw materials affordable and available. You want to guarantee that the quality you deliver today will still be there tomorrow. Sustainability is a mindset”, says Jöhr. In his view, therefore, it's not a question of regulation or details, but of a much broader approach. It means dealing with your environment consciously and looking at your own operational management. “Identify the critical points. Sometimes it's about sick leave, but it can also be about water shortage. The extent to which you are able to cope with these changing circumstances is what sustainability is all about.” 

Being compliant
Being compliant is part of that. This means that agricultural entrepreneurs must comply with all the preconditions and laws and regulations. “That's a basis on which to supply the food manufacturers. But also make sure you communicate about your sustainability efforts”, Jöhr emphasises. According to the Nestlé man, that's where the biggest gains are to be made. At the same time, that's also the starting point. “It's a lateral way of thinking. Don't look at your own company, but look at the demand of your customer, the consumer. Do you understand and accept the questions they ask? That's the basis for sustainable enterprise.” 

About Nestlé

GOODFOOD, GOODLIFE

Nestle is the world's largest food company with headquarters in Switzerland and offices in more than 190 countries. The company has over 2000 brands under its wing, including iconic brands such as Nespresso and Maggi. Worldwide, Nestlé has an extensive sustainability programme aimed at three clear ambitions: contributing to a healthier life, improving the quality of life and minimising the impact on the environment. 

PETER-ERIK YWEMA