The Sustainability Consortium

Apples, pears, stone fruit, cucumbers, melons and squash scored at the top of the chart for sustainability in a recent study by The Sustainability Consortium.

The group published product category data from the 2017 Sustainability Index and reported that, on a 100-point scale, those produce categories were among the highest ranked of 120 categories studied.

The fresh produce categories — along with computers, diapers and hair coloring — are considered part of The Sustainability Consortium’s “60 and Up Club” for scoring 60 points or higher on the most recent Sustainability Index, according to a news release.

Apples and pears scored well because all of the suppliers in this category responded that they conducted crop supply mapping for 100% of their crop, according to the release.

“Many of these product categories already have systems in place in their supply chains to communicate operational data, but only recently have they been asked to share sustainability-related data,” Euan Murray, the consortium’s chief executive, said in a release.

“We are pleased to see so many different product categories score so well and to see progress towards more transparent supply chains.”

The release said most suppliers score high on transparency by tracking food waste in their distribution channels. Between 2016 and 2017, apple and pear suppliers also made significant improvement in their transparency scores related to soil erosion management and water irrigation on-farm, according to the release.

The release said many other specialty crops, including berries, grapes, lettuce and leaf vegetables, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant scored between 55 and 59 and earned an honorable mention.

Read more at The Packer