News About SCS

Jac. Vandenberg Announces First Certified Sustainably Grown® SUNRAYS® Mandarins Shipping to U.S. Markets in Summer 2024

Forbel and Pampa Baja achieve certification, with remaining farms to be certified in 2024

sunrays mandarins

Consumers in the United States can look forward this coming year to SUNRAYS® mandarins independently certified as Sustainably Grown® by SCS Global Services. Forbel, a producer of SUNRAYS mandarins, has become the first citrus grower in Uruguay to achieve certification, and together with Peruvian SUNRAYS grower, Pampa Baja, are now the first Sustainably Grown certified citrus growers worldwide.  This milestone achievement follows Jac. Vandenberg’s announcement last year of its goal to have all SUNRAYS mandarin growers Sustainably Grown® certified by the end of 2024.   

“Collaborations and partnerships are critical to turning ideas into actions, and this achievement by our grower partners is a testament to that. We are proud to be working with the teams at Forbel and Pampa Baja who share the same deep passion for sustainability and the protection of our species. Their commitment to sustainability is now verified by their achievement of becoming the first citrus growers in the world to earn Sustainably Grown certification,” said John Paap, sustainability manager at Jac. Vandenberg, a fourth generation, family-owned and operated fresh produce importer. 

Sustainably Grown is among the world’s foremost sustainable agriculture standards. It provides customers with assurance that products meet strict environmental standards, that farm workers and farm communities are protected and engaged, and that the farm is economically resilient.  

“We are proud to work with Jac. Vandenberg and their SUNRAYS growers, who value healthy and sustainable farming practices.” said Kevin Warner, SCS Global Services Director of ESG certifications for the food and agriculture sector. “The Forbel team exceeded our expectations in meeting the stringent requirements of our standard, setting an important precedent in the Uruguayan fresh produce industry.” 

Founded in 1986 in Paysandú, Uruguay, Forbel is one of Uruguay's top five citrus exporters. The company is fully committed to sustainability, embracing regenerative farming practices that enable it to nurture robust and resilient agroecosystems in harmony with nature. Achieving the SCS Sustainably Grown certification marks a significant milestone that demonstrates the company's commitment to meeting the new sustainability requirements globally.  

“It has been a challenging and demanding process for the entire Forbel team, but the satisfaction is immense due to the success achieved,” says Malena Miglionico, Operations Manager, Product & Certifications at Forbel. “This accomplishment reinforces the company's commitment to implement sustainability practices: economically viable, socially beneficial, and environmentally respectful”. 

The first Sustainably Grown certified SUNRAYS mandarins, the “snack with impact®,” will be available in supermarkets across the United States this coming summer, shipped from these certified farms. Consumers can be confident that these mandarins, which will carry the Sustainably Grown certification mark, have been third-party certified against the most comprehensive standard for sustainable agriculture.   

“The world as we know it is changing rapidly, putting the security of people and other species increasingly at risk. As the global climate becomes ever more unstable and erratic, our industry has seen firsthand the impact this has had on our supply chain,” said Paap. “At Vandenberg, nature has a prominent seat at the decision table. We take the current state of our planet and species extremely seriously, and that shows in everything we’ve been doing over the last decade, from our innovations in packaging to sustainable farming initiatives and participation in shaping industry practices and standards around sustainability. We all want to contribute to a better future. Offering visibility into the important work going on behind the scenes allows our consumers to participate and be a part of that positive impact,”  

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About Jac. Vandenberg, Inc.  

Jac. Vandenberg is a fourth generation, family-owned and operated fresh fruit importer and marketer delivering fresh produce that is delicious, nutritious and delivers social and environmental impact. Its products include SUNRAYS® sustainable, zero waste grapes and mandarins. For more information, visit https://jacvandenberg.com/. 

About SCS Global Services  

SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in climate mitigation, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, consumer products, and more. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Africa. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to companies, agencies, and advocacy organizations due to its dedication to quality and professionalism. SCS is a chartered Benefit Corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. For more information, visit www.SCSGlobalServices.com.

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