Despite the stormy weather in the Netherlands over 450 people attended the MVO NL New Years Event, where IDH held two workshops, with a key note by Volkert Engelsman, CEO of EOSTA, ranked #1 in the latest Trouw Duurzame Top 100: “If SME’s want to scale their sustainability efforts, IDH is the go-to place”.
Volkert Engelsman, who leads the Fruits & Vegetables company EOSTA, is one of the SME partners in the Fruits & Vegetables program of IDH. The program has currently over 40 members. With 90% of Dutch retail and significant international retailers such as LIDL, COOP and ICA onboard, the program creates strong sustainable market traction. Read more about the Fruits & Vegetables program
In his key note speech at the IDH workshop at the MVO NL New Years Event, Mr. Engelsman explained why EOSTA decided to become a front-runner in organic fruits, and how he and his company made a business case out of it. “Once you start thinking about externalities such as drinking water, clean air, healthy soils and human capital, you start calculating your costs and benefits differently. A study in the UK shows that a consumer actually pays double the price from what he pays passing the supermarket cashier. One euro in the supermarket to pay for the costs and benefits of the company and one euro for the externalities that are paid by society through taxes to clean water, diseases caused by air pollution, etc.. And still there are a lot of costs that are not paid for by anybody. Our business as usual production systems are damaging the planet.”
EOSTA took it upon them to show the consumer what the social and environmental benefits of organic products are. Volkert Engelsman: “And mind you, we are no niche player, we are on of the largest fruits and vegetables trader in Europe. It is possible to be sustainable and build market share.”