Sustainability at Tobi Seeobst AG

At Tobi Seeobst AG, we take a holistic approach to sustainability. As one of the leading retail partners for fresh fruit grown and produced in Switzerland, we base our actions on economic, ecological and social principles to ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy our signature Tobi quality for many years to come.

Our sustainability milestones

How sustainable are we as a company? An external study offers insights

In 2017 we commissioned a sustainability study in order to determine the level of sustainability at Tobi Seeobst AG and the Tobi apple production facilities. As part of this study, Sustainable Food Systems GmbH assessed 12 apple production facilities using the SMART method, an evaluation tool based on the SAFA guidelines. Moreover, stakeholder interviews were carried out with our customers and suppliers in order to obtain a snapshot of the status quo that is as comprehensive as possible.

The SAFA guidelines, which have been defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, divide sustainability into four dimensions:

  • Environmental integrity
  • Economic resilience
  • Social well-being
  • Good governance

Objectives have been established for each dimension. On the basis of these objectives, the sustainability efforts of agricultural supply chain actors can be assessed.

The results show where existing sustainability efforts are paying off and where there is room for improvement. Our aim is to target the latter and unlock the sustainability potential.

Good governance

A company-wide sustainability strategy was created in spring/summer 2019 with the goal of improving sustainability in the following areas:

  • Transparency
  • Sustainability planning

In terms of good governance, the comprehensive quality management system and the numerous certifications already in place had a positive impact on our ability to achieve these goals in the past. These certifications include:

  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 22000
  • Bio Suisse
  • Demeter
  • Suisse Garantie
  • Swiss GAP

The existing stakeholder analysis also had a positive effect on the assessment of various topics.

Environmental integrity

There is room for improvement in three areas. We are proactively addressing these issues and are currently evaluating how we can effectively step up our efforts to increase sustainability accordingly:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions in logistics
  • Promotion of biodiversity in the production facilities
  • Resource consumption

A number of environmental issues, such as biodiversity and land use, for example, are not directly relevant for the company or only play a negligible role with regards to production. Nevertheless, we still want to improve here as well.

Tobi received a positive score in the assessment of the following environmental efforts at the company level:

  • Increasing energy efficiency , including participation in the Energy Agency for Industry (EnAW) programme
  • A well thought-out waste-disposal strategy
  • Well thought-out water management – the company’s direct water consumption and the water quality are continually measured, monitored and analysed (in accordance with several standards, including ISO 14001).

Economic resilience

The results of the assessment in terms of the dimension of economic resilience are consistently good to very good. This means that we enjoy a generally stable position economically, and that we can further develop specific areas.

The following aspects received extremely high marks:

  • Stability of the supply chain
  • Profitability
  • Food safety
  • Regional added value, because we create valuable jobs in the region and have not outsourced any work to other countries

Social well-being

We have met the sustainability goals in the dimension of social well-being moderately well to well. Our efforts in terms of our suppliers were an area of particular focus in terms of this dimension.
The analysis assessed not only Tobi, but also the extent to which we require our suppliers to ensure fair working conditions and/or support them in doing so. This includes:

  • General working conditions
  • Working times
  • Salary structures
  • Maintaining cultural diversity
  • Flexible working models
  • Prevention/compensation of overtime hours

Tobi Seeobst AG performed particularly well in terms of the following sub-topics:

  • Employer-employee relations
  • Job security

Going forward, we want to focus on improving in those areas where potential for optimisation was uncovered in order to unlock this potential. All with the goal of ensuring

Healthy, delicious fruit for everyone!