CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, ENVIRONMENT AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY POLICY
Social responsibility towards the stakeholders in our environment is an essential part of our activities and comprises the very essence of cooperativism. We endeavour to incorporate it into all areas of our company management.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Responsibility to our customer: Building relationships of trust based on quality products, capacity for innovation, flexibility and service.
Responsibility to our economic environment: Adopting a diversified and balanced production model and investing our efforts in innovating new products and discovering new markets.
Responsibility to our social environment: Giving maximum value to stable employment, to solidarity, and to rooting our people in the land. In this last regard, we have a very stable workforce (90% permanent staff), and voluntary turnover of only 1.3%.
At Unió, we are involved with our territory and contribute towards ensuring the continuity of traditional festivities and popular culture. We also work together with entities in our area such as the food bank, the ONCE Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Taller Baix Camp, Fundació Mn. Frederic Bara i Cortiella and others.
Traditional “Cursa de sacs” (bags race)
RESPONSIBILITY TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Unió Nuts shares its concern for responsible consumption of food and the environmental costs of production with many consumers. That’s why we promote sustainable agriculture and the circular economy. We are currently working to promote energy saving and minimise our water and carbon footprints.
In line with this commitment, Unió has conducted several pioneering studies to determine the yield and impact of different planting models. This knowledge, together with experience garnered on our lands, allows our experts to offer plans tailored to each farm.
Consulting and training are essential for minimising the impact of our activities. At Unió we offer training and consulting on issues such as plantation design, ecological production methods, managing plant cover, reincorporating pruning waste into the soil, and streamlining irrigation systems, since water is a very scarce resource in our Mediterranean drainage basins.
Out of the field, we strive to reduce environmental impact at each phase of our fruits’ production and processing. For example, our processing centre in Reus has a solar panel system with a generation capacity of 160 kW.
Solar panels with a generation capacity of 160kW
THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Minimising waste is one of our main concerns. We promote the circular economy by recovering materials such as fruit peels and nut shells, formerly considered waste, to give them second lives through new uses and applications.
Almond shells are used to make excipients for veterinary products and are made into heating pellets with considerable heating power. Almond shells are also used to make polymers for food packaging, ship decks, building materials and bases for textile dyes.
Up to now, almond and hazelnut skins were considered worthless waste generated in the hulling and skinning processes. Unió has studied the nutritional properties of the skins and discovered that they are very rich in fibre. Their properties include reduction of LDL cholesterol levels, and prebiotic and antioxidant effects. As such, the fibres found in almond and hazelnut skins are no longer considered waste, since they can be used as functional ingredients in health foods, pastries, etc. This project from our R&D department has been granted a global patent (Fiberox).