Corporate - Sustainability - PLANET

Mimosa applied to herbs

Every crop in the optimal place at the optimal time

For every crop, we plan the best place and time to grow, taking into account the climate, water availability and geographical location. All our herbs are grown outdoors in field-scale production. We plan each crop to coincide with the most appropriate weather window for the crop, and in case the weather does not deliver what we expect, we spread our risk by growing in several different regions.

Our factory in La Garde-Adhémar in Provence (FR), specialises in Mediterranean herbs: thyme, rosemary, dill, coriander and basil; whilst our Le Moustoir site in Brittany (FR), focusses on chives, parsley and mint, and our site in Eye in Suffolk (UK), grows a combination of all of these.

Variety selection

Most annual, and some of the perennial herbs, can be harvested over several cuts during the season. It is important to maintain healthy crops at all times, and disease resistant varieties help to achieve this.

Investing in knowledge and innovative technology

Our growing techniques are continually evolving. In our basil crop, we recently increased the distance between the rows in which our crops are sown. Our new row spacing encourages the circulation of air between the plants. This limits the development of diseases, gives the plants enough room for optimal development and facilitates mechanical tillage. We have invested in state-of-the-art mechanical inter-row cultivators, guided by GPS and cameras, to achieve a level of precision weeding that was unimaginable until recently. This precision weeding provides a way to reduce the use of herbicides and also hand labour.

The use of natural bio-stimulants has proven to be a very efficient way to control diseases like mildew. These natural substances enhance the healthy growth of the plant and make it more resistant to diseases.

Intelligent use and
re-use of water

Water is a precious resource.

The Belgian sites in Ardooie and Koolskamp maximise the re-use of water. We collect the rain water that falls on our factory roofs and store it in reservoirs. After treatment, this water is used for cleaning our factories and is also used in our condensers. The tap water required for our blanchers is collected after the blanching and is used for pre-washing fresh vegetables. It is then cleaned in an on-site water treatment plant and 50% is used again for cleaning the factory.

In Geer, the purified waste water from the Ardo site is pumped into a 40 hectare wetland reservoir. This reservoir is connected to an irrigation network supplying local growers, who can use a proportion of the water to irrigate their vegetable crops. The majority of the water remains in the wetlands, providing habitat for over 200 species of birds. Ardo is the owner of the wetland area and has changed the land use designation, from agricultural land to nature reserve. The wetland project is collectively managed with the producer organisation Apligeer and the nature organization Natagora.

Sustainable transport

Ardo is in a continual search for transport & logistic partners with the same philosophy on sustainability as Ardo. Therefore, we initiate and support several sustainable projects with transport contractors worldwide. These are only a few examples:

  • Decrease the average speed of the trucks to 80km/h instead of 96km/h, which results in a reduction of 10% in diesel consumption. This implies that Ardo’s logistic planning should take this speed reduction into consideration when scheduling the different routes.
  • Ardo favours transport companies using trucks with CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) as an alternative fuel to fossil fuels. These trucks provide a smart and affordable transport means for distribution within city centres. Natural gas offers many advantages over conventional petroleum products, with an important reduction in CO2-emissions.
  • Ardo increases its short sea transport volume. Over 50% of all in- and outbound transport to Portugal are carried out by boats. This environmental choice reduces CO2-emissions and reduces the number of trucks on the road.
  • Ardo favours transport companies using thermoelectric (TE) cooling systems on the trucks. Unlike a mechanical refrigeration system, TE-modules generate virtually no noise and reduce the CO2-emission levels.
  • In the development of Ardo’s ERP-system, we take into account the efficient routing of the trucks for in and outbound logistics, resulting in a reduction of the number of trucks on the road.

Corporate sustainability award for Ardo Ardooie

Ardo Ardooie Recently received the VOKA Charter Corporate Sustainability award for efforts and activities that contribute to Corporate Social Responsibility. This was the 16th consecutive year that the site in Ardooie received this prestigious award. The site was evaluated and rewarded for actions in 10 categories in the past year: good governance, civic engagement, communication and dialogue, people-friendly business practices, risk management, sustainable investments, product & service development, supply chain management, climate change & energy, quality of the environment and sustainable logistics & mobility. Meanwhile, the plans for the 17th cycle have been made and the results of the first actions are underway.

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