CSR report

Hoogesteger 2023

Hoogesteger & CSR

At Hoogesteger, we take pride in our business-model based on ultra-fresh vegetables and fruits, which we cold-press daily into healthy indulgent products. These range from juices, smoothies, and shots to ice creams, all made from 100% fruit. To make our premium products, we face significant challenges due to changing societal and environmental conditions. We see it as our responsibility to minimize our impact on nature as much as possible. In line with this responsibility, we have been engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for many years. This enables us to continue producing our premium product in the future.

We start at the source and strive to minimize our impact on the planet together with growers. Where possible, we do this with our partners in the supply chain. By auditing our growers, we gain valuable insights into what actually happens in our chain and can actively engage in improvement processes. Sustainability is also a key pillar when establishing relationships with new suppliers. Thus, as a relatively small company, we strive to make as much difference as possible.

We are also active in our immediate surroundings. We do this, among other things, by reducing and better valorizing our residual streams and promoting reuse. In 2023, we actively started working on a plan to make our operations gas-free by 2030.

Over the past years, we have set clear goals to reduce our impact on nature and have achieved significant successes. For example, our loading capacity has increased by 21% in recent years, we have collected data on CO2 emissions from more than 80 growers, and we use recycled PET (rPET) for more than 96% of our bottles. Our focus for 2024 is to gain even better insights into the sources of our impact, in order to set even sharper goals for the medium and long term.

Hoogesteger stands for quality. We consider it self-evident that our impact on the environment is a key motivator in what we do. This annual report demonstrates our hard work to align sustainability and quality. Enjoy reading!

Highlights 2023

33% lower CO₂-emissions

Through transport of our raw materials

100% green energy

In 2023

Contribution to Zwanenburg festival

Increase in wash-off labels

Almost 100% of bottles made from recycled PET (rPET)

Energy and climate

Our CO₂ footprint

Our products are produced and stored in a refrigerated environment, which results in relatively high energy consumption. For this reason, in 2021, we switched to green energy, leading to a significant decrease of approximately 2100 tons of CO₂ emissions.

In 2023, our CO₂ footprint reduced by 26% compared to 2022. This reduction is primarily due to a significant decrease in our gas consumption. We reduced our gas usage by scaling down our Fresh Micro Pulse (FMP) technology. Additionally, we actively collaborated with our partners to encourage CO₂ reduction among growers.

In 2023, the focus was primarily on mapping our emissions further down the supply chain (scope 3). This allowed us to gain better insight into the sources of our emissions and how to reduce them. We focused on improving our data quality regarding our footprint, including conducting surveys with growers in collaboration with Blonk. These surveys provide information that helps us map our CO₂ footprint. In 2023, we achieved the following:

  • Increased data collection from 49 growers in 2022 to 88 growers in 2023
  • Mapping the differences in data collection between 2022 and 2023 to enhance data quality

In 2024 we will use the available data to work on a plan, in collaboration with our partners, to further reduce CO₂ emissions in our supply chain.

Our policy is to prioritize electric driving or train transportation when visiting suppliers/customers or growers. However, sometimes it is necessary to fly, especially when conducting audits at suppliers. Given our responsibility for the emissions from these flights, in 2023, we offset our CO₂ emissions from our flights through the Climate Neutral Group. See the certificate below.

CO₂-footprint Hoogesteger 2023

Total of 196 ton CO₂

    Relative development of the CO₂-footprint

    CO₂ emissions per million liters of juice produced

    CO₂ in the supply chain

    CO₂ in the supply chain 

    Cultivation of our raw materials

    In 2022, we began requesting CO₂ emissions data from our growers. This included growers of oranges, bananas, kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, and mangoes. In 2023, we also asked the growers of our top 10 raw materials to make their CO₂ emissions transparent, which we used to calculate the total CO₂ emissions from our cultivation. The top 10 raw materials account for approximately 87% of all purchased raw materials. Where we did not have data from our own growers, we used data from the Agribalyse database for the calculations (Agribalyse – Portail ADEME).

    In 2023, the emissions from our raw materials amounted to approximately 16,519 tons of CO₂, compared to 18,045 tons of CO₂ in 2022. This translates to 0.35 kilograms per kilogram of raw material in 2023, compared to 0.38 kilograms per kilogram of raw material in 2022. So, we see a decrease in emissions from the cultivation of our raw materials by 8%. One explanation for this is that in 2023, we worked on improving our data quality. Whereas we previously relied more on CO₂ data from online databases, we are now increasingly using CO₂ data directly from our growers. Additionally, the decrease is due to efforts in the supply chain to reduce emissions.

    These emission calculations provide us with insight into which crops emit the most CO₂. This helps us to develop potential reduction measures. In 2022, we asked growers to provide action plans to reduce their CO₂ emissions. Apart from requesting data from growers in 2023, we also asked them to provide an update on the actions taken to monitor progress. We also ask new growers for these action plans. This allows us to actively steer towards reducing CO₂ emissions from our growers.

    To prioritize actions, we will first concentrate on the raw material that we purchase the most: oranges. Then, we will also take action on the rest of our top 10 raw materials based on volume. These include strawberries, pineapples, apples, bananas, raspberries, kiwis, mangoes, pears, and ginger.

    Upstream transport – ‘As close as possible and as far as necessary’

    A significant portion of our CO₂ emissions in the supply chain is caused by transportation. To limit this, we transport as much as possible by boat. Additionally, our philosophy is ‘as close as possible and as far as necessary’. For example, apples, pears, and various types of vegetables primarily come from the Netherlands. However, the fact remains that the ingredients for our fresh juices come from around the world. Depending on where the harvest has the best quality at that time. Think of South Africa, Egypt, and various countries in Central and South America.

     

    For most raw materials, we calculate the amount of CO₂ emissions annually due to upstream transport, from the supplier to our production location. Below, you can see how the emissions from transport compare to those from our own production location. This excludes transportation in the country of origin. We are currently in the process of mapping the transport of our packaging as well.

    In 2022, the emissions from our upstream transport amounted to 9,753 tons of CO₂. In 2023, this CO₂ emissions decreased to a total of 6,559 tons of CO₂. There are several explanations for this, but the main ones are that in 2023, fewer raw materials were purchased (post-COVID), and more oranges were transported by boat instead of by truck.

      Shuttle trips

      Since 2021, we have also been reporting on the CO₂ emissions between our production facility in Zwanenburg and the distribution center/cooling storage in Velsen. In 2023, this amounted to 5.9 tons of CO₂, which is the same as in 2021 and a slight decrease compared to 2022. Our transporter for shuttle trips has been engaged in energy transition for years through the “Moving Green” climate program.

      Downstream transport

      For the transport from our production facility to the customer, we collaborate with transportation companies that prioritize sustainable transportation. For instance, our partner transporter, Heinis Logistics, operates refrigerated trucks equipped with more fuel-efficient Euro-5 and Euro-6 engines. The latest trucks and tractors with Euro-5 engines were replaced with models featuring Euro-6 engines in 2023. Additionally, they are exploring the possibility of acquiring electric buses and/or trucks in the future. Furthermore, we continuously work on logistic improvements to deliver our juice to the customer with as few trips as possible while maintaining freshness.

      Circular economy

       

      We actively strive to reduce the use and waste of raw materials. In this regard, we adhere to the three pillars of the government’s raw materials agreement (‘grondstoffenakkoord’): maximizing waste reuse, minimizing food waste, and reducing plastic use.

      Since we work with fresh vegetables and fruits, our focus lies mainly on preventing and reducing food waste. The Moerman ladder guides us in these efforts. We work actively on better valorizing our residual streams. With the purchase of our new juice press in 2019, we made significant progress in this regard as it allows us to utilize oranges more efficiently, leaving more for human consumption. Almost all our residual streams are used for animal feed through our partner Van Vulpen. Additionally, together with our partners, we are conducting various studies to utilize our residual streams in the food processing industry. This is challenging due to the moisture content of our residual streams and the requirements regarding food safety. However, in the coming year, we hope to make steps in utilizing the residual streams even more effectively within a closed-loop system.

      Zoveel mogelijk hergebruik van afval

      Residual streams of fruits and vegetables 2023
      Total 20.904 tons

      Disaggregated by destination

        Waste 2023

        Total 1534 tons

          Residual streams
          • In some cases, residual streams are not suitable for animal feed, such as ginger pulp. Therefore, these residues are fermented. We are investigating the possibility of using ginger pulp for human consumption.
          • The percentage of residual streams destined for animal feed has remained approximately the same as the previous year.
          • Approximately 5% remained to be converted to biogas through fermentation.
          • The installation of the High Shear Mixer in the citrus press at the end of 2022 allows us to utilize more of the oranges, resulting in a smaller residual stream.
            Company waste
            • Our company waste is separated and recycled as much as possible by the external party Recycling.nl.
            • Compared to 2022, in 2023, the volume of juice we produced decreased by approximately 5%. The amount of waste decreased even more significantly, by 13%. This is a positive outcome that demonstrates the effectiveness of our measures.
            • Some of our plastic waste is not recyclable and is used for high-calorific incineration.

             

            Destination of residual streams from 2017 to 2023 (in %)

             

            Minimizing food waste

            Waste reduction 

            In 2020, we actively sought ways to reduce our waste. We established focus teams and collaborated on a new and promising system called ‘Supply Brain’. Curious about the results? Read more later in the report under ‘Innovation and collaboration’. Meanwhile, we fully utilize the Supply Brain system, which helps us keep waste levels low.

             

            Enabling reuse together

            In 2023, Bakker Barendrecht delivered various fruit residual streams to Hoogesteger for the production of fresh juices. This fruit did not meet the visual requirements for supermarket shelves but was still suitable for consumption. We are pleased to have started this collaboration and are taking action together. In total, we were able to valorize 45 tons of oranges, 10 tons of grapefruits, 88 tons of lemons, and 70 tons of limes into our fresh juices!

            % waste from GXO delivered to the Food Bank

             

            Food bank

            We believe it’s important to minimize the loss of raw materials. Juices that cannot be delivered to customers from the GXO storage due to shelf life concerns are directed to the Food Bank wherever possible. 

             

            Other measures

            In addition to converting residual streams into animal feed, we prevent food waste in the following ways:

            • Our juices are mainly made from class 2 and 3 fruits and vegetables; the so-called “outliers” (buitenbeentjes). This means they do not meet the visual requirements for supermarket shelves.
            • With High Pressure Processing (HPP) and Fresh Micro Pulse (FMP) technologies, we treat some of our products to extend their shelf life while preserving taste and nutritional value. By making our juices last longer, we prevent them from being wasted.
            • Juices and smoothies unsuitable for delivery to our customers are offered to our employees. They are available free of charge during working hours and at a discount if employees want to take products home.

            As little plastic as possible

            With our customers, we are continuously exploring options for more sustainable bottles. In addition to recycled PET (r-PET), we are researching plastic reduction measures.

            We are very happy with the progress we made last year in terms of recycled bottles. In 2023, we had 14 different bottles, 12 of which were made entirely from 100% Recycled PET (rPET), and 2 bottles were made from 50% rPET. In total, the percentage of rPET in 2023 amounted to more than 96%, which marks a significant increase compared to 92% in 2022.

            In 2022, we began transitioning to washable labels. Our goal is to use washable labels as much as possible. By using these labels, the entire bottle can be recycled. In 2023, 70% of the labels were washable.

            In an increasing number of countries where we distribute, our bottles are subject to deposit systems. By implementing these deposit systems, governments aim to encourage more plastic bottles to be recycled rather than ending up in residual waste.
            This contributes to promoting a circular economy.

            Packaging
            • In 2023, 99% of our bottles were packaged in recycled cardboard. This marks a 1% increase compared to 2022.
            • Refer to the use of rPET for our bottles further in this report.
            • The wooden crates in which our oranges arrive are either returned to the cycle or shredded into fuel.

            Water

            Water usage

            A significant amount of water is required for cleaning raw materials and the machinery. We have calculated the quantity per liter of juice produced. In 2023, it was 3.25 liters of water per liter of juice produced, which is an increase compared to 2022. This can be attributed to issues we experienced during the installation of our new juice press installations, resulting in significant water loss. In the coming years, our goal is to reduce our water consumption wherever possible.

            For the year 2025, we have set the target to further reduce our water consumption to 2.3 liters of water per liter of juice.

            So far, the measures that have been taken to minimize water consumption include:

            • Installation of juice presses in which citrus fruits are no longer peeled first, reducing water consumption.
            • Setting water conservation as a key performance indicator (KPI) with our cleaning company.
            • Replacement of reels and spray nozzles with more energy-efficient models.
            • Automated rinsing of filling line 1 via a program.

            In 2023, a new belt press was installed. Due to a different technique, this belt press is cleaned more effectively, resulting in less rinse water.

              Water use per liter juice produced

              Wastewater

              80% of our water consumption comes from the production process. At our production site, this wastewater undergoes initial purification. The sludge produced during this process is collected and converted into gas through fermentation (1600 tons per year). The purified wastewater undergoes a second purification process at the installations of the Water Authority (Hoogheemraadschap). This water is nutrient-rich as it contains sugar. Bacteria from sugar-containing water have the ability to convert contaminated water into harmless substances. Therefore, this wastewater assists the Water Authority’s purification plant in cleaning water.

               

              Supply Chain Responsibility and Human Rights

              Corporate Social Responsibility risks and influence in the supply chain

              Although we source from as close as possible, our raw materials also come from areas with CSR risks. We require all suppliers to have certifications such as Global Gap, GFSI, and BSCI. While certifications are important, they do not always provide the guarantee we seek. That’s why we also visit our suppliers personally. Our suppliers also sign our Business Practices document. This document includes criteria regarding the environment, human rights, and working conditions. However, transparency in the supply chain remains a challenge. Additionally, we have limited influence on our suppliers. Two factors make us less important to individual suppliers. Firstly, we have multiple suppliers for the same raw materials to reduce our vulnerability to crop failure, and we therefore procure small quantities from our growers. Secondly, we purchase class 2 and 3 products, while class 1 growers mainly focus on producing class 1 fruits and vegetables (for supermarkets).

              Responsibility for People and the Environment in the Supply Chain

              At Hoogesteger, we care about the well-being of people and the planet. That’s why our quality specialist and procurement manager regularly visit our suppliers around the world to ensure that our environmental and social standards are met. For example, they visited our mango suppliers in Vietnam to gain insight into the conditions there.

              Sander Wierenga (Quality Specialist at Hoogesteger): “Through on-site visits, we strengthen our relationship with suppliers and gain insight into the chain. In addition to these visits, we require all our suppliers to be GFSI certified. This ensures accountability and transparency.”

              Together with our suppliers, we will continue to work on minimizing our ecological footprint and maintaining the well-being of the people involved.

              Our  people

              Composition of personell

              Age distribution

              Turnover

              Performance Management Policy 

              In 2023, we focused entirely on implementing our updated Performance Management policy to move towards a learning culture with continuous dialogue about the development of our employees.

              From the second quarter onwards, we kicked off with the online HR cycle. The online HR questionnaire has been translated into Polish and English to make it accessible to as many employees as possible. All employees have been given a login and have answered various questions about their own development, job satisfaction, and their personal and work-related goals. These answers have been discussed in a conversation with HR to foster more understanding between employees and managers, and to record the development of employees.

              We utilize a growth model specifically developed for Hoogesteger employees in production. This model illustrates how an employee can progress from an entry-level position to another position within production. This encourages progression and ensures continuous alignment of both production and employee development desires.

              In 2023, we introduced the Talent Motivation Analysis (TMA). Through a questionnaire, we get an indication of the talents and motivation of employees, which are personally discussed with them. This measurement is integrated into the HR cycle and helps guide the development goals of the employee.

              Vitality Policy

              We believe it’s important for our employees to be healthy and stay healthy. To promote the vitality of our employees, we allocate a vitality budget of €400 per person per year. Employees can use this budget for various purposes, such as a gym subscription, purchasing a new bicycle, or consulting a lifestyle coach.

               

              Optimizing Employment Conditions

              In 2023, Hoogesteger adjusted the travel expense reimbursement scheme to accommodate the increase in travel costs for employees. The untaxed kilometer allowance was raised from €0.19 per kilometer to €0.21.

              In 2023, we established a senior citizen scheme based on the sustainable employability scheme of the Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) for the Fruit and Vegetable Processing Industry. Employees who will reach retirement age in 10 or 5 years have the option to choose between the age and service time days scheme or a scheme that reduces working hours. We also offer employees aged 65 or older the opportunity to retire early based on the Hoogesteger RVU scheme.

              Opportunities and Knowledge Development at Hoogesteger

              As a recognized training company, we offer learning programs for students from various educational backgrounds. Additionally, we regularly work with interns. In 2023, we had 3 interns working in the Quality and Marketing departments.

              We also strive to employ individuals who face barriers to employment whenever possible. For example, we have a Wajong employee who has been faithfully serving with us for over 25 years. Furthermore, we are exploring the possibility of implementing a work-study program in our production.

              Employees at Hoogesteger have access to various e-learning courses through our online learning system, FlowSparks. For IT training, we have a separate system. With courses covering topics such as food safety, we provide employees with the opportunity to expand their knowledge while at the same time ensuring the safety of our company.

              Employees in the spotlight

              Astrid, right at home in the culture of Hoogesteger

              Astrid van Groningen is well known to us as a member of our IT department, BITS. She handles just about everything related to Microsoft. This is quite different from Astrid’s original work. She started out in the banking and insurance sector. “But I got fed up with the culture there. The snobbish chatter about superficial things,” she says. That was during a time when companies were being taken over left and right. “Before you knew it, you were suddenly working for Nationale Nederlanden.”

              So Astrid decided to start her own business. She was available for freelance work here and there. Preferably for typing or bookkeeping tasks. It didn’t go very well because “I wasn’t very good at networking.” Not that she minded too much. Her children were still young, so she could give them all her attention. However, she was asked to do all sorts of temporary jobs. From selling drink tokens at the Beverwijk Festival Week to packing Christmas bread for Dekamarkt.

              And that’s where she was ‘discovered’ by Timing. She was placed at Hoogesteger, in Velsen. “I had the idea beforehand that it was like Heineken with all the vats and pipes. But it turned out to be all manual labor.” Soon, Astrid was in charge of the labels.

              One day, she was brought in to organize the label flow in Zwanenburg. “I really enjoyed bringing order to the chaos. And educate them a bit! I taught people to work more based on label numbers and not names. So no more requests for ’tropical yellow,’ but the correct label number.”

              From the Zwanenburg warehouse, she transitioned to BITS. Here, Astrid still happily carries out her duties. At Hoogesteger she actually enjoys the ‘culture.’ In addition to the Microsoft job, she manages the cybersecurity trainings from KnowB4, provides user education, and designs website and form components. And lately, she’s been very busy with the onboarding program. 

              ‘I’m just staying’

              That’s what Richaard Sarmin thought about 25 years ago when he was on vacation in the Netherlands. He had come over from Suriname for the Kwaku festival and was ‘captivated’ by the atmosphere there, and the atmosphere in the Netherlands.

              And even now, Richaard – now “50 years young” – still enjoys being in the Netherlands. He first started working in Boxtel, at a pig slaughterhouse. There, he worked almost 10 years with great pleasure in the dispatch department. He even became half a Brabander; PSV has been his favorite club for years. Until the distance to Boxtel began to bother him. After all, Richaard lived in Amsterdam.

              Then he was able to start working at a croquette company. “Where they make the best products: Van Dobbe croquettes,” Richaard explains. But even there, in Oostzaan, the adventure ended for him. The company moved to Tilburg and the staff did not move with it. “With a heavy heart. Because I had very nice colleagues there. I love working with people.”

              He now encounters just as pleasant colleagues every day at Hoogesteger, where Richaard has been working for four years now. At first, for a year as a temporary worker, then as a permanent employee. “Otherwise, I would have left a long time ago.” He earns his stripes on the forklift and loads and unloads like there’s no tomorrow. “Dispatch is really my thing.” And as long as he still enjoys being on the forklift in Zwanenburg, “he’ll just stay.”

              Hoogesteger and society

              Safety for the consumer

              Every day at Hoogesteger, we make fresh juices from fresh ingredients from all over the world. Food safety is extremely important for a fresh product that is delivered to our customers without heating. That is why all suppliers are Global Gap and GFSI certified. As Hoogesteger itself, we are IFS Food certified. For years, these audits have been conducted unannounced. In 2023, we achieved the IFS higher level score again. This shows that we continuously produce our products at the highest level of food safety.

              GFSI
              Minimizing inconvenience, maximizing enjoyment

              Our production location is located in a residential area. We believe it is important that residents experience as little nuisance as possible by our activities. That’s why we installed a sound barrier a few years ago to minimize noise pollution. Around Christmas and Easter, when extra production takes place and trucks come and go at night, we distribute juices to the residents.

              To contribute to the enjoyment in the neighborhood, we sponsor various social activities annually. In 2023, we donated 2000 pallets of wood for the nail village building event in Zwanenburg

              Just clean

              We believe it is important to keep the environment in which we work tidy. That’s why we decided to walk around the neighborhood at least once a week to clean up in the area with a team of two: one employee from the office and one from production.

              We started this in 2021, and we only see benefits in 2023.

              • The surrounding area of Hoogesteger looks a lot better.
              • Positive reactions from local residents. We are happy with that, because we want to be a good neighbor.
              • The mutual bond between our employees is strengthened. People who do not encounter each other every day get to know each other and gain more mutual appreciation.

              We will certainly continue with this in the coming years.

              Heart for the Cause

              Hoogesteger is a partner of ‘Hart voor de Zaak’ and made a generous donation last year. The Hartstichting invests millions of euros in research on cardiovascular diseases. They search for solutions to recognize and treat cardiovascular diseases at an earlier stage. With our contribution to scientific research, we contribute to making the Netherlands safer and healthier for the heart.

              Collecting Caps for Kika

              A resident of Zwanenburg collects caps for the Children Cancer-Free Foundation (Kika). The caps are delivered to a recycling company, and the money raised goes to the Kika foundation. We are happy to support initiatives like this. The quality department of Hoogesteger saves all caps from tested juice bottles, and if any caps are rejected, they also go to this initiative.

              Contribution to Zwanenburg festival  

              Friday, June 2nd was the day: the 20th anniversary of the Zwanenburg Festival. Hoogesteger is the main sponsor of this annual village festival organized by local residents. Hoogesteger contributed to various activities for village residents. A fun day was also planned for Hoogesteger employees.

              Innovation and collaboration

              Innovation and sustainability go hand in hand. We continuously search for opportunities to innovate our production techniques. Our New Product Development department explores innovations in new and healthy ingredients, such as organic and vegan products. Additionally, we are constantly looking for new ways to valorize our residual streams. In the field of innovation, sustainability, and knowledge development, we collaborate with various parties such as Wageningen University&Research, Eurofins, Allergen Consultancy, KTBA, Normec, our industry organization FWS, and De Duurzame Adviseurs.

              MVO Nederland

              In order to stay up to date with specific developments within the sphere of corporate social responsibility and to network with parties who also focus on these areas, we are affiliated with MVO Nederland.

               

              Samen uitval voorkomen

              Matching supply and demand is one of the major challenges facing food producers. IT specialist Orcado and food expert Get Yessed believed that there was still a lot to be gained here. They joined forces and developed the ‘Supply Brain’ platform. Supply Brain allows us to better predict the demand for our products, so that what is on the shelf matches customer behavior. This way we can ensure that less juice is lost.

              Our MVO Team

              CSR is well embedded in our organization. All departments contribute, and our employees also come up with good ideas. We are very pleased with the results we achieved in 2023, which we present in our fourth CSR annual report. We thank everyone, both inside and outside Hoogesteger, for their involvement and for reading this report. Questions, suggestions, and ideas about this report or CSR in general are always welcome. We would love to hear from you via janneke.delwel@hoogesteger.nl

              From left to right in the photo: Charles Arentsen – managing director, Frank Kooter – procurement manager, Nancy van der Louw – HR manager, Renate Ludeking – SHEQA manager, Janneke Delwel – sustainability specialist

               

              Further details

              Information about the social annual report

              Commitment GRI

              This annual report is based on the latest generation guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The report has been assessed by the organization itself and has not been externally verified. The GRI table is included as an appendix.

              Scope of the Report

              This report covers the activities of Hoogesteger Fresh Specialist B.V. in the year 2023. The headquarters are located in Zwanenburg, Netherlands. During the reporting period, there have been no significant changes in the size, structure, or ownership of the organization.

              Report Frequency

              We intend to publish a CSR report annually.

              Contact

              For questions about this report it is possible to contact Janneke Delwel, Sustainability Specialist via janneke.delwel@hoogesteger.nl