The Dutch distributor of organic fruit and vegetables Eosta has been a pioneer in sustainable entrepreneurship for many years.  The company is known for making organic fresh produce recognizable by laser branding – without the use of plastic – and for tracing the origin of fruit and vegetables. Now Eosta has announced that it will calculate the actual cost of its products using true cost accounting, which measures the impact of products on people and nature in monetary terms.

Eosta argues for a new profit definition in which people and planet are also included. CEO Volkert Engelsman never misses an opportunity to point out that sustainability and transparency are permanently at the heart of Eosta’s business operations. Hence the focus on banning plastic and thus making the switch to laser branding and also the focus on making products less anonymous and making it clear to consumers exactly where they come from, how they were produced and under what circumstances. The company does this under the trade logo Nature&More. All products with this logo have a numeric or QR code that gives consumers access to information about the grower of the product they have purchased. All these products also contain a so-called sustainability flower that reflects the 7 aspects on which Eosta evaluates the performance of growers: climate, water, soil, biodiversity, impact on the individual, impact on society and the economy. By looking at all these different aspects, the company can also apply the so-called True cost accounting and thus offset all the costs and benefits of organic and regular products. This means that effects such as soil depletion or enrichment, CO2 emissions and water use are taken into account, as is the question of whether employees in the chain receive a fair wage. All those effects come at a price.

“For many people, sustainable business is stuck with issues such as electric driving and green electricity, but that’s not enough”., Englishman says. “We need to move towards a new definition of profit where we radically redefine the concepts of ‘profit’ and ‘cost’. I advocate a stakeholder economy, in which we also consider people and planet as shareholders. Sustainability is clearly beginning to break out of the realm of green idealists and activists and into the economy. Banks and investors can no longer avoid the financial risk of climate damage. True cost accounting speaks a language that the financial sector, investors and shareholders can also use. There lies an important key”.

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