Opportunities and challenges in the fruit juice concentrate division

In order to be able to compensate for vegetation-related variations in harvests from various growing areas, AGRANA's fruit juice concentrate business is constantly searching the globe for new suppliers and regions so as to bolster its independence and ensure that only the best quality fruit is processed. 

In the fruit juice concentrate segment, AGRANA is successfully striving to tap new sources of raw materials and has set itself the goal of consolidating its strategic position in new growth markets. In principle, there is an endeavor to increasingly source raw materials directly from farmers in the future. In the 2018|19 financial year, AUSTRIA JUICE joined the Sustainable Juice Covenant, a global initiative aimed at making the procurement, production and marketing of fruit- and vegetable-based juices, purees and concentrates 100% sustainable by the year 2030.

Supporting apple farmers in Hungary and Poland

AUSTRIA JUICE currently maintains two projects for direct procurement from growers. In Hungary, since the year 2000, AUSTRIA JUICE has supported local farmers in growing pest-resistant apple varieties that require about 60% to 80% less pesticide than conventional cultivars. Besides financial assistance for the new planting of the trees and ongoing advice over the growing season, the fruit growers also receive purchasing guarantees and a price premium from AUSTRIA JUICE. A further project with contract growers was begun in Poland in 2007. In 2019|20 about 8 % of all apples processed by AUSTRIA JUICE into apple juice concentrate worldwide came from these two projects.

SAI FSA results OF Hungarian and Polish apple suppliers

2017|18 financial year was the first in which Hungarian suppliers of disease- and pest-resistant apple varieties, who were selected according to SAI standards, also participated in the mandatory FSA self-assessment and the external audits. As a result, AUSTRIA JUICE is entitled under SAI standards to claim silver (and in some cases gold) status for the majority of Hungarian growers of resistant varieties. The minimum requirements are met by all Hungarian contract growers of resistant varieties; areas of potential for improvement are addressed through training events. In 2018|19 the FSA questionnaire and external verification were also used for the contract growers of resistant apple varieties in Poland.

As well, FSA silver status can be claimed under the benchmarking of the FSA requirements against the national legislation of, for example, Poland, Spain and Hungary, when combined with a certification to the Global GAP standard. In total, in 2019|20, AUSTRIA JUICE was thus able to claim FSA silver or higher status for about 15.5 % of its raw material processing volume. The FSA reverification audits in accordance with the SAI requirements are scheduled for the 2020|21 financial year.