OZblu® is a member of the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA), which provides a platform for agricultural stakeholders to ensure ethical and environmentally sustainable trade.
We are committed to the Paris agreement to minimise global warming by 45% by 2030.
Every OZblu® production entity captures their carbon footprint annually, monitoring progress with carbon hero membership and the Confronting Climate Change tool. Energy assessments are the foundation of our decision making for systems delivering optimal solar energy generation and energy storage at our production sites, also benefiting our farming communities with affordable and clean energy. Embracing responsible consumption and production practices also benefits our carbon footprint.
By engaging with local communities, we minimise organic waste and all our packaging has a recyclable and, in some cases, compostable component.
We strive to minimise waste destined for landfills with recycling schemes and staff initiatives, such as the wheelchair bottle top and bread tag initiative. We support the circular waste economy by not allowing opportunities to go to waste.
In all our production areas, there is no shortage of opportunities to make an impact on societal causes.
Health and Education
Societal transformation begins with socio economic development in health and education, thus leading to long-term impact on youth employment opportunity and enterprise development. We provide quality education and capacity development initiatives through the OZblu® Academy.
Good health is essential for the well-being of our employees. In many instances access to health care is limited and so we provide a blended approach of preventative and primary health care on site covering family planning, monitoring of chronic conditions and medication, HIV testing and other preventative testing. On our more remote locations our on-site nurses handle the full healthcare needs of our employees. Our economic success enables us to continue in this role as guardian.
Employment and Economic Growth
OZblu® creates decent work and economic growth as we continue to support over 6000 employees and their families. With our production growth comes the rewards of increased GDP and its associated benefits and further employment opportunities.
We believe we have a responsibility to be leaders in the agricultural industry in terms of environmental sustainability. We work in harmony with nature and employ various farming methods to ensure the protection of our ecosystems and biosphere as well as the quality of the air, land and water upon which all life is dependent.
Here are three key areas where we invest our efforts for environmental sustainability.
We believe we have a responsibility to be leaders in the agricultural industry in terms of environmental sustainability and life on land. We work in harmony with nature and employ precision farming methods to ensure the protection of our ecosystems and biosphere as well as the quality of the air, soil and water upon which all life is dependent.
Species extinction is happening at least 100 times more than the normal background rate. Biodiversity loss has accelerated exponentially and as custodians of the environment we are actively working towards biodiversity progress. We are actively restoring riparian areas with the planting of indigenous species and removal of invasive species, and are working with integrated pest management programmes, with an increase in the use of beneficial insects.
OZblu® blueberries are naturally pollinated by bees sourced from local, registered beekeepers. In doing so, not only are we supporting local industry but also the bees themselves, whose population is under threat due to colony collapse disorder (CCD) or vanishing bee syndrome.
Healthy soil is the base upon which our entire farming ecosystem depends. If its essential nutrients and microbes are not replenished season to season, it will continue to degrade the quality of crops and threaten the long-term viability of the land.
To ensure soil vitality we begin each planting season by correcting the pH and chemical balance of the soil. Then, a substantial amount of organic matter (the life force of the soil) is added to improve the soil’s water holding capacity – which in turn, reduces the amount of water needed from irrigation. On many of our farms, blueberries are grown in in bags or pots, enabling a controlled environment for soil and substrate health and minimising water and nutrient loss.
Just as a healthy body is more resistant to infections, so too healthy soil builds up a plant’s resistance to attacks from disease and insects. By working with nature in this way we can minimise the use of synthetic pesticides.
Our farmers are committed to the protection of water reserves and quality. Soil moisture content, water utilisation ration and run-off are continuously monitored to mitigate unnecessary water use.