From field to plate

Sustainability at SPOT

At SPOT, we strive for a sustainable chain – from field to plate – with attention for humans, animals and the environment. We want consumers to enjoy our healthy, delicious sweet potatoes carefree and responsibly. Transparency is very important to us. We want to show openly and honestly where our products come from and what route they take. Every day, we want to take a step towards a better world.
Our sustainability policy is based on three pillars: the farm, the chain and our business operations. Each of these pillars is linked to one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our overarching goal is SDG 3: Good health and well-being, because our sweet potatoes fit into a healthy and plant-based diet.

Sustainable farms

Sustainable Development Goal 15 – Life on Land

Cultivating healthy and responsibly produced products: that is what SPOT is committed to. All the farms we work with have a Global GAP certificate and meet the requirements to guarantee food safety in the production process. In addition, all suppliers have at least a GRASP certificate. This guarantees the social conditions on the farms.

Several of our farms have an organic quality mark. They make exclusive use of organic crop protection, take account of the biodiversity on the land and counteract soil depletion.

All our products are guaranteed free from GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). We require all our suppliers to sign a declaration to this effect.

Sustainable chain

Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production.

Reducing food waste is an important point of attention at SPOT. We start early in the chain. Immediately after the sweet potatoes have been harvested, we place them in a cell at a high temperature. This makes the skin thicker and less vulnerable, which ensures a longer shelf life.

We are proud of the fact that we have less waste of sweet potatoes. We almost always find a destination. For example, we sell the less than perfect product to companies that process them into chips, wedges, mashed potatoes and even baby food. Every week, we deliver around 1,000 kg of sweet potatoes to food banks. All unsaleable potatoes, we compost and use for biodegradable manure on our fields.

Reducing environmental impact
In order to get our products from the USA and Egypt to the Netherlands with as little environmental impact as possible, we use transport by ship. We transport the sweet potatoes from Spain by road, grouping loads as optimally as possible to minimise the number of kilometres. In addition, we continuously monitor developments relevant to us in order to further reduce our transport emissions. 

Foundation “Samen tegen Voedselverspilling”

SPOT is a member of the Foundation Samen tegen Voedselverspilling (Foundation Together against Food Waste). This is a leading foundation in the Netherlands, which aims to reduce food waste by half by 2030. Through this membership, we have an annual monitoring of our waste, we are in contact with an interesting network of potential cooperation partners and we are aware of the latest developments and applications to keep the waste as low as possible.

A 2nd life for 2nd class

Sweet potatoes in class II are given a second life by using them for the fries industry or donating them to the food banks. This way, our products get a nice and useful destination!

Sweet potatoes that are no longer fit for human consumption are currently being used as food in a test to breed black soldier flies. These flies are a protein-rich source and can return to the food chain as animal feed.

In these ways, we are trying to complete the circle and minimise our residual flows.

Sustainable business operations

Sustainable Development Goal 13 – Climate action

At SPOT, we take our responsibility for sustainability very seriously and we are always looking for innovative ways to make our business operations more sustainable. At our farms in America, for example, we collect the water with which we clean and recycle the potatoes. Our premises in the Netherlands are equipped with solar panels and we encourage customers to opt for reusable EPS crates instead of cardboard.

Sustainable packaging

Over the past year, we have been working to remove black plastic from our chain. For example, only transparent plastic is used for the production of flow packs, in which the sweet potatoes are packed. Transparent packaging material is recyclable. This is in contrast to black plastic, which is not recognised in current recycling and therefore cannot be processed.

The bins in which we transport the sweet potatoes to the Netherlands are made from pulp paper. This is recycled paper, which can also be recycled well after use.

Sustainable transport

Thanks to our cooperation with ABC Logistics, we have plenty of opportunities for responsible transport. The trucks of ABC Logistics are all equipped with Euro 6 engines. In addition, the transport planners ensure efficient planning, so that as few empty kilometres are made as possible. In addition, the drivers have an app that monitors driving behaviour and gives advice on a sustainable driving style.