UK Guidelines on Reducing Sugar in Food Published For Industry

Public Health England (PHE) has published the technical guidelines setting out the approaches the food industry can take to reduce the amount of sugar children consume through the everyday foods that contribute the most to intakes. The reduction programme could see 200,000 tonnes of sugar removed from the UK market per year by 2020.

The guidelines include the recommended sugar limits for 9 food groups including biscuits, breakfast cereals and yogurt. Also published is the 2015 baseline. The 9 food categories in the programme are:

* breakfast cereals

* yogurts

* biscuits

* cakes

* morning goods like croissants

* puddings

* ice creams, lollies and sorbets

* confectionery (chocolate and sweet)

* sweet spreads, which is sub-categorised into:

* chocolate spread

* peanut butter

* dessert toppings and sauces

* fruit spreads

Sub-categories have been introduced due to the wide range of different products included in the sweet spreads category. Encouraging the industry to innovate to lower children’s sugar intakes means the programme will be good for health and good for business.

One of the main commitments in the Government’s Childhood obesity: a plan for action was to reduce the amount of sugar contained in food. The challenge is to reduce sugar by 5% by August 2017 and overall by 20% by 2020.

The 3 approaches the food industry can take to reduce sugar are:

* reformulating products to lower the levels of sugar present

* reducing the portion size, and/or the number of calories in single-serve products

* shifting consumer purchasing towards lower or no added sugar products.

PHE will judge the success of the sugar reduction programme by measuring the net amount of sugar removed from key food categories. The principles are to encourage the industry to go further and faster in sugar reduction in order to improve health outcomes, but also to give it flexibility in how it meets the Government’s challenge

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of PHE, says: “The UK has one of the most innovative food sectors in the world and it’s in everyone’s best interests to ensure it remains a dynamic and thriving sector of our economy. The scale of our ambition to reduce sugar is unrivalled anywhere in the world, which means the UK food industry has a unique opportunity to innovate and show the rest of the world how it can be done. I believe reducing sugar in the nation’s diet will be good for health and ultimately good for UK food business.”

Duncan Selbie adds: “We can’t duck the fact a third of children are leaving primary school overweight or obese and obesity generally is having a profound effect, not just on the costs for the health service, but on the overall health of the nation. Our economy is affected as obesity can lead to long term health problems that result in time off work.”

PHE’s Chief Nutritionist, Dr Alison Tedstone says: “Overweight and obese children are likely to carry this health problem into adulthood, increasing their risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Levels of obesity are higher in children from deprived backgrounds. Tackling the amount of sugar we eat is not just a healthy thing to do, but an issue of inequality for many families. If businesses achieve these guidelines, 200,000 tonnes of sugar could be removed from the UK market per year by 2020.”

The PHE guidance confirms:

  • guidelines for the sugar levels of food are set for the 9 categories of products providing sugar to children’s diets (up to the age of 18 years)
  • soft drinks are covered by the industry sugar levy
  • all types of sugars are in scope for these categories, except the naturally occurring milk sugars in yogurt and some sugar in plain whole dried fruit in breakfast cereals
  • 2015 baseline levels of sugar in foods have been established using Kantar Worldpanel and nutrition information for manufacturers and retailers, and NPD Crest information for the out of home sector and publically available nutritional information for that sector
  • some data have also been provided by industry including some out of home businesses
  • the 20% total sugar reduction target has been set based on 2015 average sugar levels across the 9 categories, known as the sales weighted average
  • the sales weighted average is calculated by weighting the contribution of individual products by their volume sales – a high-selling, high-sugar product will increase the sales weighted average and a high-selling, low-sugar product will reduce the sales weighted average
  • this sets out the clear goal for a sales weighted average for sugar per 100g for each category to be achieved by 2020 and provides a figure against which progress can be monitored
  • sweeteners that have been approved through European Food Safety Authority’s processes are a safe and acceptable alternative to using sugar.

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Seafood DNA Traceability Programme to Guarantee Greater Levels of Transparency

A first-ever ‘farm to fork’ programme for shrimp production has been announced, offering consumers DNA based assurance on the origin and quality of shrimp. Through enhanced transparency the TraceBack programme will also help promote ethical labour practices, which have been highlighted in the global shrimp industry.

The technology offering – already available in animal meat – has been developed by DNA tracing company IdentiGEN in partnership with international seafood producer Seafresh. The traceable shrimp will be sold at Marks and Spencer outlets in the UK, the first time such an offering has been brought to the consumer.

IdentiGEN Co-Founder and Director Ronan Loftus says that shrimp are globally sourced and the application of DNA TraceBack to the industry brings a further degree of accountability to production and labour practices, which are increasingly being demanded by both retailers and the consumer.

“With its complex and global supply chain, the shrimp industry has been subject to high profile controversy in recent years for poor quality, excessive use of antibiotics and reports of human trafficking, slave and child labour,” he says. “This programme will give guaranteed transparency to both retailer and consumer that what they are buying is sourced from approved sources and meets highest standards in terms of production practices.”

He points out that recent scientific advances in DNA technology has made traceability deliverable at a large scale, enabling its expansion into the seafood sector.

He elaborates: “A sample taken from a female shrimp can be used to trace all of its progeny (hundreds of thousands of shrimp) back to its farm of origin with unprecedented accuracy – through the use of ‘Natures Barcode’. This makes DNA sampling and TraceBack of large numbers of shrimp from the fork back to their exact farm of production possible and cost efficient. The system can also be used to trace shrimp post cooking, or further processing, where considerable co-mingling of production from different sources can occur.”

The programme is currently being operated by Seafresh which is producing the shrimp in Central America, processing in the UK and supplying to Marks and Spencer.

Seafresh CEO Lasse Hansen says: “We are delighted to partner with IdentiGEN and our customers on this exciting new era for shrimp traceability. Our industry has been dogged by claims of child labour, poor production practices and use of unapproved feeding regimes. The unprecedented levels of supply chain transparency will help us convey more effectively to our customers and the consumer the care we take to meet the growing consumer expectations for a top quality, sustainable and ethically sourced shrimp supply.”

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Further Commitment By AG Barr to Reduce Sugar

AG Barr, which produces and markets some of the UK’s leading soft drinks brands, including IRN-BRU, Rubicon and Strathmore, has announced its further commitment to reduce sugar across its soft drinks portfolio. AG Barr has confirmed that by accelerating its long-standing sugar reduction programme, over 90% of its company owned soft drinks portfolio by volume will contain less than 5g of total sugar per 100ml by the autumn of this year.

This successful reformulation programme now includes the iconic IRN-BRU brand, which will see its sugar content reduced in line with changing consumer tastes and preferences.

Roger White, chief executive of AG Barr, comments: “Evidence shows that consumers want to reduce their sugar intake while still enjoying great tasting drinks. We’ve responded by significantly reducing sugar across our portfolio in recent years, through reformulation and innovation.

He continues: “We are now expanding our successful sugar reduction plans to include our iconic IRN-BRU brand. We’ve worked hard to deliver IRN-BRU’s unique great taste, using more of the secret IRN-BRU flavour essence, but with less sugar.”

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European Soft Drinks Sector Commits to Reduce Added Sugars by a Further 10%

The European soft drinks industry[1] has announced it will reduce added sugars in its products by a further 10% by 2020[2]. The commitment will be rolled out across Europe. This initiative responds to changing consumer preferences regarding sugar intake and calls from Member States and the European Commission for a coordinated approach to reformulation and sugar reduction. The sector – which includes well-known brands such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Orangina – will innovate, reformulate, use smaller pack sizes and encourage consumer choice towards low and no calorie drinks to achieve its ambitious target.

The soft drinks sector is an early mover in added sugars reduction with its journey beginning in the 1970s when the first no sugar and no calorie soft drinks were introduced. In soft drinks, reduction in added sugars leads directly to reduced calories. The industry reduced sugar in still and carbonated soft drinks by 12% from 2000-2015[3], so the new commitment triples this pace by adding another 10% reduction over the next five years[4].

By joining industry forces at European level, the commitment has the merit of putting in place a Europe wide approach and impacting over 500 million consumers. The committed 10% is an aggregate and takes into account existing and new local industry pledges on sugar reduction, reflecting specific national diets and consumer preferences in the EU.

The initiative addresses consumer preferences regarding sugar and calorie intake. It is also a response to the EU’s call for reformulation and sugar reduction across the food industry. The commitment supports the EU Roadmap for Action on Food Product Improvement Annex on Voluntary Reduction of Added Sugars and the with its 10% sugar reduction target agreed between Member States and the European Commission.

The industry will achieve its target through increasing its efforts on reformulation and new product innovation – including by using low and no calorie sweeteners – and increasing the availability of smaller pack sizes to allow portion control and moderation. In addition, soft drinks producers will invest in the promotion of beverages with reduced or no sugar to actively encourage consumer choice towards low and no calorie products. Independent third party research will monitor progress, which will be shared with stakeholders.[5]

Stanislas de Gramont, President of UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe and CEO of Suntory Beverage and Food Europe, comments: “We welcome the EU’s policy approach to reformulation and sugar reduction which is based on partnership and allows us to deliver speed and scale. This 10% sugar reduction commitment represents a tripling of the pace of our efforts to date. We will need to employ a wide array of tools in order to achieve our ambitious target and we hope other food categories will follow suit in order to generate critical mass.”

1 UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe is the trade association representing non-alcoholic beverages such as carbonates, fruit based drinks and dilutables. Other categories such as bottled water, juices, milk-based or hot beverages are represented at EU level by other organizations. UNESDA represents 80% of the European soft drinks industry by value.

2 Metric is average content of added sugar per 100 ml.

3 Source: Canadean

4 The combined of reductions achieved and this new commitment will be 20% less sugars on average in 2020 compared to 2000

5 UNESDA will monitor its compliance with the new commitment through independent, third party auditors including Canadean www.canadean.com.

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The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Has Published its 2016 Impact Report

The RSPO has published its 2016 RSPO Impact Report, providing a detailed look at RSPO’s sustainability efforts and outcomes from the past year. Over the years, the RSPO’s focus has remained constant: transforming the market to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To ensure the vision is achieved, the RSPO vigilantly monitors the impact of RSPO on the 3 pillars of sustainability, People, Planet and Profit.

Here are a few highlights from the 2016 RSPO Impact Report:

●        High Conservation Area:  As of 30 June 2016, the total High Conservation Value area set aside within RSPO Certified concessions amounts to 157,115 ha, an increase of 9% from the last reporting period. That is an area of forest and indigenous communities lands equal to the size of more than 200,000 soccer fields now set aside for conservation.

●        Paraquat: At least 40 RSPO growers have phased out paraquat, and at least 33 also have a policy banning, or have already phased out, WHO category 1a and 1b pesticides.

●        Resolution of grievances: Out of the 63 complaint cases since 2009, 41 have either been closed or are closed for monitoring.

●     Support to smallholders: Since 2013, the RSPO has been running a Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) aimed at improving access to RSPO certification, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and increasing production of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).  RSPO has certified 109,415 smallholders (individual and schemed) in the last reporting period.

Together with monitoring the RSPO impacts, the report identifies areas of contribution and opportunity for support by the RSPO to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched by United Nations in 2015. The RSPO, through its actions, is already working in supporting five of the SDGs: zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and life on land. The RSPO continues to support and further integrate the other SDGs into RSPO standards and activities.

The report also includes data from several industries that have committed to 100% CSPO in many European countries, and as of the reporting period Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK have all made significant progress towards reaching their targets.

RSPO recognises that oil palm cultivation has been linked as one of the major causes of deforestation across the globe. However, with the mandatory assessment becoming part of the RSPO new planting procedure, our members have been able to increase the HCV certified areas. This practice hence eliminates the loss of forests with outstanding and critical importance due to their environmental, socio-economic, cultural, biodiversity and landscape value,” says Darrel Webber, CEO of the RSPO. He adds: “the most important priority in the sustainable palm oil sector is to continue to help shape government and global policy to strike the right balance between the need for development and environmental protection globally” 

To further strengthen its global engagement with the largest consumer and producer markets, the RSPO has in the last year set up additional offices in China and Latin America and now has representatives in India, Thailand and the USA.

 

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Nestlé and USAID Partner For High Quality Maize in Ghana

Nestlé and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are partnering to help farmers in Ghana produce high quality maize. The goal is to reduce mycotoxins, a natural, fungal contamination of crops that can damage health and lead to financial ruin for farmers.

The USAID Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) programme team will train over 113,000 farmers on procedures developed by Nestlé to reduce the mycotoxins in maize to acceptable levels. It will also support them to produce maize that meets Nestlé’s quality standards.

The partnership reinforces Nestlé’s commitment to help farming communities to increase yields, crop quality and income level.

Nestlé is already helping train about 26,000 farmers in good agricultural and storage practices to manage grain quality and safety.

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Barry Callebaut Targets 100% Sustainable Chocolate By 2025

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has published its new sustainability strategy “Forever Chocolate” with the ambition to move sustainable chocolate from niche to norm in less than a decade.

In order to secure the future of chocolate, Barry Callebaut’s new sustainability strategy includes four targets that the company expects to achieve by 2025 and that address the biggest sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain:

1 Eradicate child labor from its supply chain;

2 Lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty

3 Become carbon and forest positive

4 Have 100% sustainable ingredients in all its products.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, chief executive of Barry Callebaut, comments: “We have been pioneering sustainability in cocoa and chocolate for many years, and we have made great progress. But despite all our efforts, only 23% of the cocoa beans we source are from sustainability programs. We are determined to step change this and have 100% of our chocolate and its ingredient sustainably sourced by 2025.”

barrycallebautforeverchocolateAntoine de Saint-Affrique elaborates: “The targets we have set ourselves after a thorough materiality analysis are bold, and we recognize that we do not have all the answers. What we know for sure is that we cannot reach these targets by ourselves. That is why we intend to start a movement that also includes governments, NGOs, consumers and our customers. Sustainable chocolate is as much about governments creating an enabling policy environment and enforcing legislation, NGOs creating awareness and consumers making sustainable choices, as it is about industry commitment and investment. ‘Forever Chocolate’ is an open invitation to work with us in finding structural solutions to the sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain. Without sustainability, there cannot be growth. By taking on the challenges we face as an industry, we will make ‘Forever Chocolate’ a reality.”

Barry Callebaut will publish each year a report on the progress it is making towards the four targets it has defined.

With annual sales of about SFr6.7 billion (Eur 6.1 billion) in fiscal year 2015/16, the Zurich-based Barry Callebaut Group operates more than 50 production facilities worldwide and employs close to 10,000 people. The Barry Callebaut Group serves the entire food industry, from industrial food manufacturers to artisanal and professional users of chocolate, such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers, hotels, restaurants or caterers. The two global brands catering to the specific needs of these Gourmet customers are Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®.

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Mondelez International Updates its Sustainable Palm Oil Action Plan

Mondelēz International has laid out new milestones and requirements for suppliers to work toward a sustainable supply of palm oil as part of its updated Palm Oil Action Plan. The update advances the company’s goal to make sustainable palm oil the mainstream option, based on the principles that production should be on legally held land; not lead to deforestation or loss of peat land; respect human rights, including land rights; and not use forced or child labor.

The new plan builds on progress made since June 2014. As such, at the end of 2015, 90 percent of the palm oil sourced by the company was traceable to the mill, and 91 percent was purchased from suppliers with published policies that are aligned with Mondelēz International’s principles.

Mondelēz International was the first multinational consumer goods company to require suppliers to track oil sourced from third-party suppliers as well as their own farms, and believes this was a critical step in catalyzing systemic change in sustainable palm oil.

“Our suppliers have done great work to align their policies and make their palm oil more traceable,” says Walter Nobles, Vice President, Global Raw Materials. “But more is needed to drive real progress on the ground, so we’re asking them to improve practices across their entire operations and engage their third-party suppliers — who supply much of the oil they trade — to implement the same practices.

“We’ll exclude suppliers who don’t immediately cease deforestation in their own concessions or exclude deforestation in their third-party supply.”

Key new provisions in the updated plan require suppliers to:

* Map and assess the risk for all supplying mills on Global Forest Watch

* Provide assurance that no deforestation occurs on their own concessions and exclude third-party suppliers who do not immediately cease deforestation

* Work with recognized third-party experts to protect labor rights

The updated palm oil action plan complements Mondelēz International’s wider commitment to sustainably source key agricultural commodities. In 2013, the company achieved RSPO coverage for 100 percent of the palm oil it bought, two years ahead of its commitment.

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Nestlé Gives Further Boost to Youth Employability

Nestlé has pledged to further strengthen its commitment to the employability of young people in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Focusing on creating first job experiences, Nestlé is seeking to help more young people out of school and into work. This includes apprenticeships as a key success factor to bridge the gap between school and the workplace.

Nestlé will offer 15,000 apprenticeships and traineeships as part of an overall commitment to offer 35,000 work opportunities for young people in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa by 2020.

Luis Cantarell, Nestlé Head of Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa, says: “At Nestlé we are convinced that by preparing young people for the job market we can help them to build a brighter future. We believe we have a responsibility to help young people to gain the vital skills and experience that they need to succeed in their careers. Opportunities such as apprenticeships provide a fantastic first step on the employment ladder.”

In order to create an even bigger societal impact, Nestlé founded the Alliance for YOUth in 2014 with more than 200 companies participating. The Alliance has today announced that it will offer 230,000 new work opportunities for young Europeans between 2017 and 2020. It has already provided training and jobs for 115,000 young Europeans since 2014.

The commitment by Nestlé is part of its Global Youth Initiative to help young people across the world develop skills and become more employable. The company has already offered 32,000 opportunities in Europe, exceeding its initial target of 20,000 in the region.

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Internal Investigation into HKScan’s Baltic Business

Nordic meat group HKScan has initiated an internal investigation into its Baltic business. The investigation is being conducted to ensure that the principles of good corporate governance and HKScan’s Code of Conduct have been followed. The investigation is estimated to last a few weeks.

Some of the HKScan Baltics Management Team members have been relieved of their duties for the duration of the investigation. The current CMO of HKScan Corporation, Anne Mere, will assume the position of interim General Manager of HKScan’s Baltic business in addition to her existing duties. She reports to Jari Latvanen, the CEO of HKScan.

Anne Mere has a strong track record in the company. She has worked for HKScan for 13 years in several senior positions, including Executive Vice President (EVP) of HKScan’s Consumer Business in Finland and the Baltics and Managing Director of AS Rakvere Lihakombinaat, part of AS HKScan Estonia since 2014.

“It is important for us at HKScan that we always follow the principles of good governance and our Code of Conduct. We have initiated the investigation to ensure this,” says CEO Jari Latvanen. ”The continuity of our operations is guaranteed by an experienced team and the investigation will not affect our business.”

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PM Group Wins 2016 CPD Employer of the Year Excellence Award from Engineers Ireland

Irish owned PM Group is the winner of the 2016 CPD Employer of the Year Excellence Award from Engineers Ireland. Based on their CPD accreditation report for this year, PM Group received the highest rating in Ireland for their programme.  The company’s Innovation in Action programme was highlighted as an important part of the accreditation.

Speaking about the award win, Dave Murphy, CEO of PM Group, said: “We are delighted to have won the CPD Employer of the Year Excellence Award from Engineers Ireland for 2016. As we are currently recruiting 500 graduates over 5 years, I am particularly happy that our graduate programme has been recognised as best-in-class as part of this award. We want employees to have fulfilling, exciting and challenging careers here in PM Group and we have found that our continuous professional development programme is an important tool to attract new employees. Our CPD programme offers real value to the company and to employees.”

“As a company we invested considerably in continuous professional development because we are at our best when we go beyond problem-solving and create a knowledge-sharing company. To build CPD into our everyday working lives, we changed our culture, created CPD champions, matched our CPD practises to our business strategy, and fostered a spirit of creativity throughout the company. I want to congratulate all of the team involved in the rollout of the CPD programme, and to thank all our PM Group staff who are committed every day to being the best in the industry.”

The structured programme offers huge benefits with a tailored programme for each employee offering regular lunchtime learning sessions, e-learning, and mentoring. The graduate programme is structured to include monthly training days, covering technical, communications and project management skills, and which also provides a placement abroad in one of PM Group’s offices, aligned to match their professional specialist area. The training aims to bring creativity and new ideas to PM Group’s work, sharing lessons learned across their markets in Ireland, the UK, Poland, Asia and the US.

Employees can also take part in the core management competency training and the senior management team can take a MsC in Executive Leadership as part of their tailored training.

To hear Una Healy, Group Training & Development Manager in PM Group, explain why the PM Group’s CPD Programme won this award, click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b0VvDpPDok&feature=youtu.be

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RT14 Calls Stakeholders to Collaborate For a Truly Sustainable Palm Oil Industry

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) 14th Annual Roundtable Meeting (RT14) urged corporate leaders, NGOs, policy makers and academics to step up and join forces to ensure an effective and sustainable palm oil ecosystem. Following the success of the RSPO NEXT discussion last year, which called for stakeholders “to work together, rather than competing to be more sustainable than your neighbour,” this year’s RT14 theme, “Learning to Live Together: From Vision to Transformation” is prompting stakeholders to share knowledge and practical expertise.

“Inclusive partnership is more crucial than ever at this stage as we embrace the concept of market transformation in committing of not leaving anyone behind. Stakeholders must increase their participation to improve effectiveness. Now comes the hard question. How do we ensure these certification schemes are benefiting sustainability? Only through strong collaboration and collective action, we will be able to achieve this vision,” said Datuk Darrel Webber, Chief Executive Officer of the RSPO.

The RT14 also emphasised social issues within the palm oil producing regions, related to contract labour, gender, migration and occupational health and safety and how the whole supply chain and invested stakeholders can contribute in addressing these issues, and move towards a truly sustainable future for the industry.

rspoDuring the conference, the RSPO reaffirmed its commitment to lead the change by ensuring that no stakeholders are left behind in the process of transformation, which includes the smallholders by providing them with access to global markets.

“There are over 3 million oil palm smallholders worldwide, who account for 30% of the total global production of palm oil while making up 40% of the land coverage used for palm oil cultivation. As part of RSPO’s efforts to support the smallholders, we have implemented various activities and local outreach in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and more recently Colombia and Ghana,” Datuk Webber added.

In addition, at the RT14 the RSPO launched a video campaign to promote its new RSPO Trademark Mobile App, which will allow consumers to identify and geolocate products carrying the RSPO Trademark in a bid to increase consumer awareness on Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and to help consumers have a say with their shopping choices.

The progress made on Jurisdictional approach were also highlighted at the conference. In particular, the government of Ecuador achieved a major milestone by demonstrating firm support of sustainable palm oil. The Ecuadorian Amazon is one of Ecuador’s highest producing regions. Effort is concentrated on transforming parts of the landscape that have been deforested for agricultural use with a transversal focus on sustainability. Launching a pilot programme utilising RSPO principles, the government has established coalitions with stakeholders such as palm oil companies and non-profit organisations like Ancupa and UN-REDD (UN-Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

The RT14 was held in the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, Thailand from 9th to 10th November 2016 and was attended by H.E. General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand along with over 800 representatives from leading figures in the palm oil industry, corporate leaders in sustainability, financial institutions, policymakers, and academics as well as social and environmental NGOs from 46 countries.

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Tesco Reduces Sugar Content in All Own Brand Soft Drinks

As part of its ongoing commitment to reduce the sugar, fat and salt content across all its own brands to help Britain’s shoppers make healthier choices, Tesco has announced further reductions to sugar levels in its own brand soft drinks. The move supports the increasingly recognised recommendation that sugars should make up no more than 5 per cent of people’s daily diet and halves the sugar content in some products including Tesco Cola.

Matt Davies, chief executive of Tesco UK and ROI, says: “This is just one part of our plans to make the food on our shelves healthier by reducing levels of sugar, salt and fat in our own brands. We have worked to make sure our soft drinks still taste great, just with less sugar. Tesco customers are now consuming on average over 20 per cent less sugar from our soft drinks than in 2011. We’re hoping this initiative will help make it a little easier for our customers to live more healthily.”

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, welcomes the move, saying: “Helping customers lead healthier lives by reducing sugar in its own brand soft drinks is a welcome move by Tesco. Similar action from other manufacturers and retailers to make products lower in sugar, saturated fat and salt is vital to tackle rising rates of obesity in the UK. Making the healthy choice the easy choice for all of us will help to tackle the rapidly rising number of people developing Type 2 diabetes.”

Tesco started reducing sugar in its soft drinks in 2011, and the final 50 products in the 251-strong range have now been reformulated to below 5 grams per 100ml. This work means the average Tesco customer is now consuming over 20 per cent less sugar from own brand soft drinks than they did in 2011.

In addition to its work on soft drinks, Tesco has also cut the salt, fat and sugar in over 4,200 of its own products since 2012 and has plans for reductions in a further 1,000 products each year for the next three years. For example, over 300 tonnes of saturated fat and 15 tonnes of salt have been removed from Tesco own brand butter and spreads. Over 65 tonnes of fat, 600 tonnes of sugar and 27 tonnes of salt have been removed from the Tesco own brand cooking sauces range.

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Cargill Direct Purchasing Licence Boosts Cocoa Sustainability

Cargill’s cocoa & chocolate business has established its own licensed buying company (LBC) following the successful application for a licence from the Ghanaian Cocoa Board (Cocobod). The new LBC is now fully operational and Cargill has purchased its first consignment of beans directly from cocoa farmers in Ghana, with around 30,000 farmers already registered with the LBC. By directly sourcing the beans, the company is now able to diversify the way it sources sustainable beans and rolls out the Cargill Cocoa Promise more effectively to better serve its customers.

“Direct sourcing of certified beans from farmers via our own LBC in Ghana is an exciting new business model for us,” says Lionel Soulard, Managing Director West-Africa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “Cocoa sustainability is at the heart of our global growth strategy for cocoa and chocolate. Developing a direct sourcing capability in the world’s second largest cocoa producing country means we will be better placed to meet growing demand for sustainable, certified cocoa.”

Lionel Soulard adds: “We are confident this business model will add value at every level particularly for farmers who, as a result of working directly with us, will make a better living out of cocoa farming, and we are really proud of this development.”

CargillC&CCocoaBeansCargill has been operating a cocoa processing plant in Ghana since 2008. The move to direct sourcing of cocoa via its 60 strong team in the country reflects the company’s commitment to growing the business in Ghana. It will also enable a more direct approach to supporting more productive, profitable and sustainable farms.

The new purchasing model will be fully sustainable and fully certified. By operating its own LBC, Cargill will implement high standards of safety, integrity and quality throughout the supply chain in Ghana.

“We already source directly from cocoa farmers or farmer organisations in the other cocoa producing countries in which we operate. By moving to this model in Ghana we will be much better positioned to fully implement the Cargill Cocoa Promise,” Lionel Soulard explains. “This means expanding our sustainability activities to enable farmers to benefit from premium payments for certified sustainable cocoa beans. Farming communities will also be able to benefit from training, community and farm development support which will also help with improving their livelihoods. For example around community support, we will be building four new schools to serve the children of cocoa farmers in the four districts where we will operate.”

“It is our objective to work hand in hand with the Ghanaian authorities to improve the livelihoods of cocoa communities for generations to come,” concludes Lionel Soulard.

CAPTION:

Pictured are just some of the almost 30,000 cocoa farmers who have already registered with Cargill’s new LBC.

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CSR Award For PM Group

PM Group, the International project delivery specialists, was delighted to receive the South Dublin Chamber CSR Award 2016 at a ceremony in Dublin recently.

“We were really pleased to be recognised for our contribution to the local community in South County Dublin. We tend to focus on two main areas – education and probono services – which is where we feel we can provide the greatest support. The opportunity to give something back to our community is something we all really value and are passionate about,” said Cathriona Fitzsimons, CSR Co-ordinator, PM Group.

For the past five years, PM Group has played an important role in Engineers Week for South Dublin, where attendance at local educational events has increased year on year and in 2015, over 2,000 local kids took part. PM Group is also a significant contributor to the Junior Achievement programme designed to encourage children to remain in education for longer and develop skills for a future in the workplace.

In 2013, PM Group began working with Tallaght Hospital providing probono architecture services and has completed two important respite areas for families, relatives and staff in the busy William Stokes Unit and Paediatric Emergency Department.

PM Group architects were delighted to be in a position to offer their expertise to support the local community in Killinarden by developing a scheme for a new clubhouse for local football club Sacred Heart; to a local adult education centre aiming to eliminate poverty through education, An Cosan; donations to local charities including Cheeverstown, St Vincent de Paul and Merrick House.

The South Dublin Chamber Awards is sponsored by South Dublin County Council, Google, Noel Group and AIB, amongst others.

To learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0stwtHqtQ0

CAPTION:

Pictured at the awards were:  Mayor Sarah Holland; Mayor Gus O’Connell; Cathriona Fitzsimons and Mags Dalton, PM Group receiving the South Dublin Chamber CSR Award from guest presenter Marty Whelan.

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Harnessing Irish Agricultural Know-how For Hunger and Poverty Reduction

Harnessing the knowledge of the Irish agriculture sector can significantly contribute to ending hunger and poverty for millions of people in the Developing World. Such is the belief of the founders of an innovative new consortium that has brought the Irish agriculture and research sectors together with some of the country’s leading development charities, in a bid to leverage Irish know-how to increase agriculture productivity and combat hunger in the Developing World.

Founding members of the new Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD) are the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Irish Aid, Teagasc, Agri-Science departments at NUI Galway, UCC and UCD, along with leading international development charities Gorta-Self Help Africa, Vita, Concern Worldwide, Trocaire and Misean Cara, private companies such as Sustainable Food Systems Ireland and Greenfield International and leading farmer associations  ICMSA, ICSA, IFA and Macra na Feirme.

The successful trialing in Eritrea, one of Africa’s poorest countries, of a potato variety shipped from Ireland offered a tangible example of what the new forum could achieve, the official launch of IFIAD heard, at the RDS in Dublin yesterday. Consortium members, including Teagasc, the Irish Potato Industry, Gorta-Self Help Africa and Vita had introduced the Electra variety, and provided their Eritrean counterparts with technical support and assistance. Early results showed that potato yields had tripled for Eritrean farmers as a result. Last year, Eritrea became the seventh member of the Irish Potato Forum.

Representatives from national and international agriculture, agri-business and development aid sectors attended the launch, which was addressed by Minister Joe McHugh TD, and by guest speakers including Dr Ousmane Badiane, Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Paul Winters, Director of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD).

The Forum’s Chair, Dr Lance O’Brien, Head of Strategy and International Relations at Teagasc, says: “this new initiative will create a platform to allow the knowledge, expertise and commitment of the Irish farming sector to be harnessed to deliver a more focused impact on addressing the challenge of food security in developing countries.”

Visit: www.ifiad.org for more information.

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Professor Gerry Boyle, Director Teagasc, with Joe McHugh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with Special Responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, and  Tom Kitts – Chairman, Gorta – Self Help Africa, at the launch of the new Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD).

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Emmi Commits Itself to Sustainability

Sustainability and in particular environmental protection have been key issues for Swiss milk processor Emmi for over 20 years. Now, the company is going a significant step further by setting itself specific objectives in four important sustainability-related areas. These objectives have been defined in communication with various stakeholders, including WWF Switzerland. The environmental protection organisation will also continue to support Emmi in implementing and cultivating its sustainability commitment as a critical and demanding partner in future.

Emmi’s sustainability commitments are as follows:

Reduce CO2 emissions by 25 % by 2020 (compared to 2014, in relation to the quantity of processed milk)

To reduce its CO2 emissions, Emmi will continue to lower its energy consumption as well as opting for more sustainable energy sources.

EmmiHintergrundbildProcess milk from sustainable production

To achieve this, all of Emmi’s Swiss milk suppliers will have to meet a catalogue of sustainability criteria by 2020. Particular importance in this regard will be given to the conditions in which the dairy cows are kept – most notably access to open pasture and feed – in the belief that milk production based on roughage is ecologically sensible and conducive to animal welfare. Switzerland provides a solid platform for achieving this natural and economical form of milk production. In return, Emmi is also committed to paying its Swiss milk suppliers an above-average price.

Reduce food and packaging waste by 20 % by 2020

Emmi will achieve this by generating less waste of packaging and raw materials in production and looking for ways to reintegrate waste into the materials cycle. Emmi will also contribute to reducing the food waste of its customers and consumers.

EmmiYogurtpureInvest in the development of employees

Emmi’s aim is for every single one of its 5,750 employees to have personal development objectives. This will not only contribute to employee satisfaction, but is also designed as a tool for combating skills shortages. By 2020, Emmi therefore aims to be in a position to fill half of its vacancies with internal candidates.

By setting itself these objectives, Emmi aims to develop in areas that are particularly important to sustainability. In addition, it will support flagship projects in each of the four focus areas that it considers to be particularly pioneering or exemplary from a sustainability perspective and that could influence the further development of its own sustainability commitment.

Emmi will publish an up-to-date review and initial measures to achieve its sustainability commitments in its Sustainability Report (to be released in summer 2017).

True sustainability is a competitive advantage

Competitive pressure among milk processors has steadily risen in recent years. Emmi’s goal in this competitive environment is clear: to position itself as a provider of innovative, high-quality products. An integral part of this positioning is a credible, ambitious commitment to sustainability.

Urs Riedener, chief executive of Emmi.

Urs Riedener, chief executive of Emmi.

According to Urs Riedener, CEO of the Emmi Group: “Consumers are increasingly demanding true commitment from companies. However, they also reward this commitment with their loyalty. In this respect, Emmi’s ambitious sustainability efforts are an important prerequisite for future business success.”

After reporting extensively on numerous sustainability aspects throughout its entire value chain in recent years, Emmi is now going a decisive step further by committing itself with respect to the public and wider society to highly specific objectives in four particularly relevant areas.

WWF as a sparring partner

The commitments in these four focus areas were developed over several months in close communication with various stakeholders. Emmi’s main aim in doing so was to compile a range of expectations that it could then evaluate internally in terms of feasibility.

A particularly valuable partner in this process proved to be WWF Switzerland, which supported Emmi with valuable know-how related to climate protection and agriculture as well as carrying out a critical review of Emmi’s business activities. The WWF also demands that its partner companies set ambitious goals in their commitment to sustainability. To achieve these goals, Emmi will require the continued support of external specialists. The partnership with WWF Switzerland that was recently approved by the Emmi Board of Directors will ensure the company can count on this support. In return, Emmi is committed to maintaining openness and transparency with regard to its sustainability commitment.

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Nestlé Acclaimed as World’s Most Diverse Food Company

Nestlé has been recognised as the leading food and beverage company in the Thomson Reuters Diversity and Inclusion Index, for its efforts in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. The index ranked Nestlé 15th overall out of more than 4,000 publically traded companies worldwide. Companies were assessed in four categories: diversity, people development, news controversies and inclusion.

Nestlé is dedicated to promoting a diverse and inclusive business culture with equal opportunities for all. For example, the company is committed to gender balance by 2018, by increasing the percentage of women managers and senior leaders.

Through its Rural Development Framework, Nestlé is also working to better understand the role of women in farming communities worldwide, and supporting them through income-generating activities and training.

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Breadwinners Offers a Fresh Start For Unemployed Londoners

Breadwinners is an innovative new charity offering those struggling to find employment in London an opportunity to start their own fresh bread delivery business. Londoners can wake up to fresh, award-winning artisan bread delivered directly to their door at no extra cost to what they would pay in the bakery. Customers book delivery with their local Breadwinner by entering their postcode at www.breadwinners.org.uk. Delivered from top local London bakeries, customers will enjoy delicious, beautifully made bread and pastries, with every penny of profit going towards their local Breadwinners.

The charity has partnered with two local bakeries from launch. One of London’s leading producers of multi- award-winning artisan bread, Celtic Bakers hand-crafts loaves, cakes and pastries which are found in the most discerning top restaurants, hotels, delicatessens and food halls. London-based GAIL’s artisan bakery specialises in craft bread and reinventing the way Londoners think about fresh, handmade bread and their local bakery.

Tapping into the growing demand for high quality food deliveries, the freshly baked bread or pastries are delivered by bicycle straight to the customer’s home or work at a time convenient for them. There is no minimum order and no delivery charge, just beautiful, fresh bread delivered from their local bakery.

The Breadwinners Foundation has been set up to systematically address the issues surrounding unemployment in disadvantaged communities. The charity aims to provide an innovative business model for the unemployed, providing all the training, microfinance and equipment they need.

Championed by organic mill, Shipton Mill, Breadwinners has partnered with established, pioneering bakeries in London who share a passion for ‘real bread’ and social change.

Marika Chaplais, Project Director of Breadwinners Foundation, says: “A lack of opportunity, understanding and an unfair recruitment process forces thousands of people into low pay and long term unemployment. Stuck at the bottom of the labour market, there is often no way out. Breadwinners, Shipton Mill and our pioneering partner bakeries are working together to not only offer jobs to those struggling to find employment, but a chance for them to really take back control of their lives and finances, learn transferable skills, and create a business they can grow, invest in and be proud of.”

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Mondelez International Named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index For 12th Consecutive Year

Mondelēz International has once again been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for both the North America and World indices. The DJSI is a globally recognized independent benchmark that conducts comprehensive assessments of a company’s economic, environmental and social performance with a strong focus on long-term value creation for shareholders.

Mondelēz International improved its overall score to reach the 95th percentile of its industry.  The company also achieved perfect scores of 100 in health and nutrition, raw material sourcing and water-related risks.

“The Dow Jones Sustainability Index is a gold standard for sustainable business,” says Christine McGrath, Vice President, Sustainability, Well-being and Public & Government Affairs. “We believe our growth is directly linked to enhancing the well-being of our planet and its people, and we focus on areas where we can have the biggest impact, like well-being snacks, sustainable agriculture and reducing our environmental impact. It’s satisfying to see the progress we are making in these areas recognized in our DJSI assessment.”

For the 2016 assessment, the world’s largest 3,400 companies from developed and emerging markets were invited to take part. Only companies scoring among the top 10 percent per industry were eligible for the World Index, while companies in the top 20 percent per industry were eligible for the North America index.

In June, Mondelēz International released its Call For Well-being 2015 Progress Report, which detailed how the company exceeded nearly all of its 2015 environmental footprint goals and set more aggressive 2020 targets to fight the impact of climate change. The report further outlined progress the company has made toward its ambition to be the global leader in well-being snacks.

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Nestlé Leads Industry in Dow Jones Sustainability Index

A biogas facility that fuels a factory with green energy and helps farmers is just one example of kind of the work that has helped Nestlé become food industry No.1 in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). The DJSI is a globally recognised independent benchmark that measures the performance of the largest 2,500 global companies across three dimensions: Economic, Environmental and Social.

With an overall score of 92 out of 100, Nestlé received industry-best scores in all three dimensions. The index praised the company for the ‘outstanding steps’ it has taken to embed human rights into supplier management policies, as well as its industry leadership in health and nutrition.

Awarding Nestlé an Environmental score of 100, the index recognised the company’s commitment to ensuring that its products and process are as environmentally and socially friendly as possible.

For example, in Switzerland Nestlé recently partnered with local farmers to open the country’s largest agriculture biogas plant, which uses manure from cattle to generate green energy for its Henniez bottled water factory and the Swiss power grid.

In return, the farmers receive a more environmentally friendly manure, and Nestlé also helps them care for the local environment. Such work was recognised in the DJSI Social dimension, where the company scored 98 out of 100 for Corporate Citizenship/Philanthropy.

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Cameroonian Cocoa Sector Makes Good Strides in Sustainable Production

Over 9,500 cocoa farmers in Cameroon have received more than €1.4 million (958 million cfa) in premium payments – the largest ever certification premium payments made for sustainable cocoa in the country – under the Cargill Cocoa Promise. These payments directly reflect the growing appetite of customers for certified cocoa products and appreciation for the efforts undertaken by cocoa farmers in Cameroon to become more professional and achieve certification.

While Cargill as part of the joint venture Telcar has been training cocoa farmers in Cameroon since 2011, the Cargill Cocoa Promise efforts on the ground have become more advanced in the last year training nearly 21,000 cocoa farmers at over 600 farmer field schools and building 11 boreholes for local communities to increase access to potable drinking water.

By working through these programs, farmers strive for improved profitability and productivity.  Another 10,000 new farmers are expected to undergo this training in 2016/2017 and a further eight local communities have been identified for new borehole projects.

The premium payments are made to certified farmer cooperatives with 50 per cent going directly to individual members, and the remainder being invested in projects that boost productivity or farm development for the farmer organisation or projects that will benefit the wider community. For Cameroon this has so far included boreholes, 100 scholarships, 10 Cassava grinding machines for women’s groups and credit/discount schemes for crop protection products.

The premiums and ceremonies are an incentive for farmers to adopt good agricultural practices and to directly support and influence improvements that will make a difference to their own communities. Premiums are paid by Telcar/Cargill to farmers but represent a contribution from Cargill’s customers that purchase certified products globally.

CargillC&CCocoaBeansTo continuously increase the reach and impact of the company’s program in Cameroon, a key priority of the Cargill Cocoa Promise is to further develop and professionalise farmer organisations. These organisations are are extraordinary multipliers to promote good agricultural practices and behavioural change in rural areas.

In March 2016, the Cargill Coop Academy was established in Cameroon, based on the highly successful model in Cote d’Ivoire.  The Academy provides business education and is on target to train over 900 executives from 227 farmer organisations over four years. Since its March inception, 60 cooperatives have participated and their leaders have started the 28-day intensive curriculum and yearlong personalised one-on-one coaching. This represents a significant step towards professionalisation of farmer organisations in Cameroon.

Speaking on behalf of Telcar, Madame Kate says: “Farmer organisations are critical to accelerating our outreach in Cameroon. By empowering these organisations, supporting training in business skills and strengthening their business operations, we can help progress this sector for the future.”

Lionel Soulard, Regional Managing Director Africa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, says: “It is exciting to see the development of the cocoa sector in Cameroon and the significant progress that has been made so far. With the significant buy-in and demand from our customers for certified cocoa our long-term goal is to contribute to a thriving cocoa sector for farmers and their communities. To make this happen, we have set up the right support, tools and training to help farmers and communities improve their livelihoods and contribute to professionalising the coops. Only when farmers take their own destiny in their own hands will we have a truly sustainable cocoa sector.”

Cameroon is the fourth largest producer of cocoa beans globally and it is critical that we contribute and help build a sustainable and thriving cocoa sector for farmers and their communities.

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Mondelez International Expands Cocoa Life in Indonesia

Mondelēz International has announced the successful completion of the first phase of its new partnerships with Swisscontact, Cargill and Wahana Visi Indonesia to expand its Cocoa Life program in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. With the help of Swisscontact, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO), the program aims to develop sustainable livelihoods for cocoa-farming communities.  The program specifically promotes women’s empowerment and youth participation, creating a next generation of cocoa farmers who see potential in the cocoa sector.

In the first phase, Cocoa Life communities developed Community Action Plans (CAPs) and formed Community Development Committees with representatives from all relevant groups in the community, such as youth and women. The committees will implement the CAPs, which feed into village plans, helping communities receive regional government funding and support. Cocoa Life also provides training to increase communities’ awareness of social issues.  The program assists communities in taking local action for positive change and developing their own action plans.

Mondelēz International is part of the consortium led by Swisscontact, which together with the Millennium Challenge Account-Indonesia, announced in April 2015 the Green Prosperity — Sustainable Cocoa Production Program (GP-SCPP), which aims to reduce poverty and greenhouse gas emissions in the Indonesian cocoa sector.

“Cocoa Life is taking root in Indonesia because it’s focused on farmers,” says Andi Sitti Asmayanti, Director of Cocoa Life for Southeast Asia. “Through Cocoa Life, we’re empowering farmers to create action plans with their communities and shape the future of cocoa. It’s important that community members come together to build plans that are based on their long-term needs. This creates ownership and empowerment. Together with our partners and the Indonesian government, we’re helping cocoa-farming families create the kind of communities they want to live in, and inspiring the next generation.”

Swisscontact is working with partners Wahana Visi Indonesia and Cargill on a three-year program to reach 6,000 cocoa farmers and at least 16,000 community members in Southeast Sulawesi. The collaboration with Cargill as supply chain partner focuses on improving good agricultural and environmental practices as part of the farming and environment focus areas in the Cocoa Life program. Swisscontact, through Wahana Visi Indonesia, focuses on implementing interventions as part of livelihoods, community and youth.

“This partnership brings proven experience in community mobilization to SCPP’s experience in supply chain development and strengthens the ability of cocoa farmers to shape their future,” says Manfred Borer, Country Director, Swisscontact Indonesia. “By promoting open participation in community meetings, community members that are often overlooked will be given a platform to promote their ideas for community development.”

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Coca-Cola is the First Fortune 500 Company to Replenish All the Water It Uses Globally

The Coca-Cola Company and its global bottling partners (the Coca-Cola system) have met their goal to replenish, or in other words balance, the equivalent amount of water used in their global sales volume back to nature and communities. Based on this achievement, Coca-Cola is the first Fortune 500 company to publicly claim achieving such an aggressive water replenishment target.

The Coca-Cola system also announced progress against its water efficiency goal. The company and its bottling partners improved water use efficiency by 2.5 percent from 2014 to 2015, adding to a cumulative 27 percent improvement since 2004.

Based on a global water use assessment validated by LimnoTech and Deloitte, and conducted in association with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Coca-Cola system returned an estimated 191.9 billion liters of water to nature and communities in 2015 through community water projects, equaling the equivalent of 115 percent of the water used in Coca-Cola’s beverages last year.

“This achievement marks a moment of pride for Coca-Cola and our partners. A goal that started as aspiration in 2007 is today a reality and a global milestone we plan to maintain as our business grows,” says Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “Now, every time a consumer drinks a Coca-Cola product, they can have confidence that our company and bottling partners are committed to responsible water use today and tomorrow. We are keenly aware that our water stewardship work is unfinished and remain focused on exploring next steps to advance our water programs and performance.”

cocacolalifeThe Coca-Cola system has achieved its water replenishment goals through 248 community water partnership projects in 71 countries focused on safe water access, watershed protection and water for productive use. In many cases, projects also provide access to sanitation and education, help improve local livelihoods, assist communities with adapting to climate change, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, engage on policy and build awareness on water issues. The program aspects mentioned in the preceding sentence do not contribute to Coca-Cola’s replenish volume.

Replenish performance is independently reviewed by LimnoTech and verified by Deloitte. That work is reflected in a 1,188 page report. The methodology for calculating water replenishment benefits was created in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and LimnoTech. It was the subject of scientific technical peer review to verify its accuracy, and uses generally accepted scientific and technical methods. Projects are reviewed annually and evaluated using this methodology.

Some replenish projects directly return water to the source we use while others are outside the watershed our plant uses but are important to help meet needs of local governments, communities and partners where there is a pressing need. Coca-Cola and its partners seek projects that have a direct benefit, can be scaled up to have greater impact by reaching more people and parts of an ecosystem, are easy to learn from and replicate in other places where the challenges are similar, and can be built to be sustainable by the community over time, continuing to replenish water. These efforts, as well as new projects, frequently address local source water vulnerabilities and balance additional sales volume as Coca-Cola’s business continues to grow.

CocaColaLineAfricaAt each of its 863 plants globally, Coca-Cola requires operations to determine the sustainability of the water supply they share with others in terms of quality, quantity, and other issues such as infrastructure to treat and distribute water. Through this process, one of the factors Coca-Cola plants must examine is whether or not their use of water and discharge of water has the potential to negatively impact the ability of other community members to access a sufficient quantity and quality of water. If so, or if there are areas where water sources may still be unsustainable in some aspect, Coca-Cola’s requirement then mandates that each plant develop and implement a Source Water Protection Plan. The plan, among other things, engages others to mutually seek solutions to promote the sustainability of the local water source. This may result in replenish projects or other opportunities. While each plant may not replenish all water to its direct source, Coca-Cola’s policy is to require that all plants work to ensure they do not negatively impact water sources and work with the community on longer term solutions.

Coca-Cola’s replenishment strategy supports the company’s overall water goal to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equal to what is used in its beverages and their production. On the production side, the Coca-Cola system returned approximately 145.8 billion liters of water used in its manufacturing processes back to local watersheds near our bottling plants through treated wastewater in 2015.

“All life depends on water, but less than 1 percent of the world’s water is fresh and accessible. From mountain glaciers to estuaries, we must account for the whole system if we hope to secure freshwater for all,” says Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) President and CEO. “This means partnerships matter. This is an important milestone in Coca-Cola’s continued leadership on water stewardship and sets a standard for other water users to build from.”

CocaColaLifestyleCoca-Cola collaborates on replenish projects with governments, civil society and other members of the private sector. Some of the many organizations CocaCola partners with include Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), Millennium Challenge Corporation, TNC, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNHabitat, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), WaterAid, Water  and Sanitation for  the Urban Poor (WSUP), Water for People, WWF, and World Vision.

Four programs with significant contribution to Coca-Cola’s water replenishment activities are our global conservation partnership with WWF, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), the company’s Every Drop Matterspartnership with UNDP, which expanded to New World in 2014, and Coca-Cola’s investment in 50 water funds across 12 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, with key partners TNC, FEMSA Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). All of these programs are active and committed through 2020.

Replenish projects work to balance, or offset, the direct water use of The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners across operations in more than 200 countries. The water use is inclusive of water used within manufacturing as well as finished beverages, which includes water from fountain sales. The water footprint of growing agricultural ingredients sourced by the Coca-Cola system is not included in this goal. However, sustainable water practices are part of Coca-Cola’s Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles required for suppliers.

To learn more about Coca-Cola’s water stewardship program, visit the company’s water stewardship report.

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Opel Ireland to Redistribute Over €3,000,000 Worth of Food

Opel Ireland has pledge its commitment to help drive social change as it joins the award winning FoodCloud in Ireland. Through the provision of seven custom specified Opel vans, this partnership is set to deliver the equivalent of 2.3 million meals to over 250 charities in the next 12 months alone.

This announcement comes as recent reports reveal that one in eight people in Ireland are living in food poverty, yet one million tonnes of food is still wasted each year. Gillian Whittall, Head of Marketing and PR for Opel Ireland, says: “We have been following FoodCloud over the past few years so I’m thrilled that we’re in a position to make such a significant investment to the movement. As the team’s transport partner, we hope to occupy the missing piece in the puzzle, by providing the vital equipment needed to redistribute larger volumes of food to hard working charities in local communities right across the country.”

FoodCloud Co-Founder Aoibheann O’Brien says: “We are delighted to have Opel as a partner in supporting us to achieve a vision for an Ireland where no good food goes to waste. These vehicles are essential for the efficient and reliable redistribution of surplus food through our three depots in Cork, Dublin and Galway. As a result of our Opel fleet, over 1000 tonnes of perfectly good food that would have been wasted is now being distributed to people who need it in communities across Ireland.”

With a 12-tonne vehicle capacity, the two capacious Opel Combo and five Opel Movano crew vans have also been refrigerated by TSS Ltd and will be controlled by the dedicated network of FoodCloud staff and volunteers. The Opel FoodCloud fleet, which has a combined retail value of over €195,000 is expected to travel over 112,000km per year, fueling the food movement with the delivery of over 1,000 tonnes of otherwise wasted food.

FoodCloud is a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food to charities in their local communities that need it through a software platform. Some of the organisations FoodCloud already works with include The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and The Simon Community.

For more information check out http://food.cloud or to find out more about the Opel Combo and Opel Movano vans click here.

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Education is Vital to a Life With Perspective

‘Because education matters’ is the motto of Austria’s HAAS, a company which is engaged in supporting a bakery apprentice workshop and helping needy children in Korogocho, a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Irene Kapaun, HAAS Marketing Communication & Public Relations Manager recently visited Nairobi in order to report about the project’s progress.

Streets are choked in garbage in Korogocho. There is no sewage system. During periods of rainfall the entire area is flooded and wastewater flows through the provisional barracks. Water is expensive, scarce and frequently polluted.

“We want to help create a future worth living for Korogocho’s children,” Irene Kapaun explained. Active measures against malnutrition amongst children include the establishment of an integrated training bakery at a local school. HAAS supports a project entitled ‘bread and education for a better future’, which ensures that children are not only offered a nutritious meal every day, but also an education enabling them to provide for themselves as adults.

Within the project, 98 children in primary schools are cared for. In addition to one hot meal every day children are provided with fresh fruit as well as basic medical care.

Schools and Apprenticeships

The project’s team helps children regain a normal life with structured daily routines. A special rehabilitation program helps drug addicted children, but above all, the school offers psycho-social support, a sort of home, a secure space. “The measures have changed their lives dramatically: They have found their self-esteem, they have new hope for the future,” said Irene Kapaun.

Once the children finish school they can enrol in apprenticeship courses to become bakers. A European master baker trains the young students in collaboration with African bakers. “In these two-year courses students learn the basic skills of the bakery trade and after graduation, they are well equipped to find employment or to open their own businesses: Well trained professionals are still hard to find in Nairobi,” Irene Kapaun pointed out.

“A lack of education results in a lack of self-confidence and courage. Adults who are well-trained and educated will become self-sufficient and able to lead independent lives. With the financial support of ‘bread and education for a better future’ we are helping to give the children in the slums of Nairobi an education and an opportunity to learn a promising profession,” she said.

Haas supports the bakery until the end of 2016. “We are very happy, that the bakery will be able to finance itself until the end of the year. Congratulations to our project partners! Education is still close to our hearts and therefore we will continue our engagement in the future.” Irene Kapaun noticed in advance.

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Barry Callebaut and Tony’s Chocolonely Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement

The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, and Tony’s Chocolonely, the Amsterdam-based chocolate company committed to bringing an end to slavery in the chocolate industry, have announced a strategic partnership agreement to produce chocolate from fully traceable sustainable cocoa. Barry Callebaut installs a dedicated cocoa butter tank in its factory in Wieze/Belgium to produce cocoa butter from traceable beans sourced from Tony’s Chocolonely’s partner cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire. With the cocoa liquor already being produced from beans from their partner cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, all cocoa products in Tony’s Chocolonely’s chocolate will be traceable.

Tony’s Chocolonely has built direct, long-term relationships with the farmers who grow its cocoa, to solve the underlying causes of modern slavery. Employing an industry scalable process, Tony’s Chocolonely works with Barry Callebaut to create traceable bean-to-bar offerings. Barry Callebaut and Tony’s Chocolonely have cooperated since 2005, when Barry Callebaut started to produce their Fairtrade cocoa liquor. As of 2013 Barry Callebaut produced chocolate for Tony’s Chocolonely that included traceable sustainable cocoa liquor. Under the new partnership agreement, also the cocoa butter used in the recipes will become fully traceable, and sourced from Tony’s Chocolonely’s partner cooperatives.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut, says: “We have a long-standing commitment to sustainable cocoa, working directly with cocoa-growing communities on-the-ground. Having made sustainable cocoa one of the four pillars of our strategy, we champion the development of a fully sustainable chocolate value chain. This partnership with Tony’s Chocolonely is a milestone in our efforts to provide fully sustainable products to our customers.”

Eva Gouwens, First Lady of Chocolate of Tony’s Chocolonely, adds: “It is our mission to make 100% slave free chocolate the norm in the industry. Our sourcing model is based on five principles. We source our cocoa beans directly from our partner cooperatives and follow the beans along the supply chain, we pay a higher price, we have entered into long-term contracts with the farmers, we strengthen their organizations and improve quality and productivity together. We are proud to say that all cocao beans in Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate willbecome fully traceable and come from partner cooperatives we have long-term relationships with. It is possible. So we invite the rest of the industry to join us in making chocolate 100% slave free.”

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Diageo and WaterAid Announce Five Year International Partnership

Diageo has announced a five year partnership with WaterAid, an international NGO providing access to safe water and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Through this exciting new collaboration, the partners will use their collective influence to advocate universal access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at local, national and global levels and work together to reach those affected by water scarcity. Diageo employees will also play an active role, taking part in fundraising, advocacy, volunteering and skills training for WaterAid staff and projects around the world. The partnership is designed to directly contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs), specifically goal six: ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Good health, women’s empowerment, education, nutrition, food security, housing and urban planning all rely on good water, sanitation and hygiene services. Through its flagship community water programme in Africa, Water of Life, Diageo has supported WaterAid for over 15 years. Over the last five years Diageo has raised over £1m to invest in WaterAid projects, transforming the lives of over 140,000 people with access to safe water and over 150,000 people with access to a toilet. Diageo is already working with WaterAid in Nigeria, supporting WaterAid’s programme in Bauchi State, which will provide access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene for over 10,000 people.

The partnership, which is UN registered, will identify communities which are most in need of support and located near or within areas which Diageo operates or sources agricultural raw materials. Projects will build toilet facilities and household or school water connections, install pumps and water points and promote good practice on hygiene and sanitation. The partnership will also help to implement Diageo’s commitment to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development’s ‘WASH in the Workplace Pledge’, which ensures appropriate access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all employees at work.

David Cutter, President Global Supply and Procurement at Diageo, comments: “As a global drinks company, the careful management and conservation of water is a top priority for us. I’m very proud of Diageo’s long and strong record in responsible water stewardship and our Water of Life programme which has brought clean, safe water and sanitation to millions people in 18 countries over the last 10 years.

“WaterAid is a fantastic NGO and we are hugely proud to partner with them to intensify our efforts. Whether in India, Africa or South East Asia, our partnership will bring together Diageo’s broad geographical footprint with WaterAid’s great expertise and experience. We will step up our engagement with governments and businesses on the vital need for universal access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene and focus our projects on local communities near our sites and in our supply chain.”

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, comments: “This new partnership builds on support Diageo has given WaterAid over the last 15 years to help reach some of the world’s most marginalised communities with access to safe water and sanitation. WaterAid believes safe water and sanitation are basic human rights, and that the private sector has an important role to play in achieving universal access to water and sanitation. The global water and sanitation crisis requires a joined-up and collaborative approach between NGOs, businesses and governments to ensure everyone everywhere has safe water and sanitation by the year 2030.”

In addition to new projects, the partnership will mean more support for communities in Uganda where Diageo is already working with WaterAid to provide water and sanitation services to more than 3,000 people. This has changed lives.

A third of Diageo’s operations are based in water stressed areas and the partnership with WaterAid will underpin the commitments made by Diageo in its Water Blueprint. This global strategy on water stewardship is designed to effect substantial, sustainable and measurable change in how the company manages water in its own operations and in its broader supply chain.

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Tesco to Source Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Cocoa For Own Label Chocolate in the UK

Tesco has announced all the cocoa required for its own label chocolate products sold in the UK will be from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ sources by the end of 2018. The retailer will also ensure the cocoa used in other Tesco UK products, such as biscuits, cakes, desserts and cereals, will be responsibly sourced by the same date.

The news follows a series of measures by Tesco designed to help build trusted and transparent partnerships with its suppliers and ensure more of its products are sourced sustainably.

Steps include guaranteed high value contracts for British potato growers, sustainable farming programmes for lamb farmers and producers of cheese, a Fair For Farmers Guarantee for fresh milk, and an extension of its partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council, resulting in the retailer offering 80 MSC-certified products to customers.

Tesco’s collaboration the Rainforest Alliance and other sustainability programmes will support cocoa-growing communities, help increase farmer income, safeguard soils and conserve wildlife. Customers will be able to recognise Rainforest Alliance Certified™ products by the inclusion of its frog seal on packaging.

Jason Tarry, Chief Product Officer at Tesco, says: “Our customers want to be reassured that we treat farmers and growers well and that the foods they buy are sourced responsibly. Our collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will help to support cocoa farmers improve their livelihoods and ensure we are offering great sustainable and affordable products. This is just one of a number of initiatives which will help us build trusted partnerships with our suppliers and enable us to serve shoppers a little better every day.”

Nigel Sizer, President of the Rainforest Alliance, says: “We are delighted Tesco has made such a deep commitment to sourcing Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. Tesco’s commitment will have a significant impact on improving the social, economic, and environmental well-being of cocoa farming communities.”

By the end of 2018, all cocoa sourced for Tesco that goes into other products, including biscuits, cakes, desserts and cereals, will also be responsibly sourced. Cocoa will be sourced in accordance with a number of sustainability programmes including the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Cocoa Horizons and Fairtrade.

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Tesco to Stop Selling Caged Eggs by 2025

Tesco has announced that it is to stop sourcing eggs from caged hens by 2025. This comes after the retailer conducted a detailed review of its egg sourcing strategy, which included consultation with suppliers, industry experts and other key stakeholders.

The move is the latest initiative designed to ensure Tesco sources products in a sustainable way. Tesco recently launched its Fair For Farmers Guarantee for fresh milk which demonstrates how every own label pint of milk helps support British dairy farmers. Tesco has also introduced guaranteed high value contracts for British potato growers, and sustainable farming programmes for lamb farmers and producers of cheese.

Earlier this year the supermarket launched new fresh produce ranges, including a number of Farm Brands and its Perfectly Imperfect range, which allows Tesco to take more fresh produce from British growers – up to 95 per cent of their crop. Tesco has also pledged to source more of the seafood it offers customers in a sustainable way, in partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council.

Working with supplier partners, Tesco will transition to 100% cage-free eggs, moving to alternative sourcing methods, such as barns, free range and organic.

At present, some 43% of the 1.4 billion eggs sold by Tesco each year come from caged eggs, also known as enriched colonies. Some 57% of eggs sold by Tesco in the UK come from Free Range or Organic methods.

Matt Simister, Tesco’s Commercial Director for Fresh Food, says:  “Our decision on caged hens is one of a number of Tesco initiatives designed to ensure sustainable sourcing, and improve animal welfare. We carried out an extensive and collaborative review with our suppliers and key industry experts to help us work through how best we can move to 100% cage-free eggs. This will ensure we give our supplier partners the certainty they require, to make the significant and necessary investments needed for the new farming systems.”

Veli Moluluo, Managing Director of Noble Foods, Tesco’s largest supplier of eggs, comments: “We have already started investigating new methods of egg production, and the commitment from Tesco to move away from enriched colony production in a manageable timeframe gives us the confidence and ability to invest for the long term.”

During the transition from enriched colony production, Tesco and its supplier partners will continue to maintain established and stringent standards for all its egg producers. Tesco’s producers are required to meet high welfare specifications and must comply with the British Lion Code of Practice to ensure that all Tesco eggs have been sourced responsibly.

Tesco sells approximately 1.4 billion eggs per year in the UK.

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Tesco Investing in the Future For Britain’s Potato Growers

Tesco has announced it will issue contracts worth £12 million over three years to help support British Agriculture, and become the first retailer in the UK to introduce new long term contracts for potato growers and packers. This will help to safeguard the future of UK farmers who supply the supermarket and provide customers with the best quality produce.

Through the Tesco Sustainable Farming Group – Potatoes (TSFG-Potatoes), growers will benefit from greater financial certainty, allowing them to invest in their businesses for the future.

The TSFG-Potatoes will be made up of a collection of producers and industry experts from across the country, and will aim to build stronger relationships through the whole supply chain to ensure customers are offered the best range and varieties at the right price.

The group will also take some of the pressure off British potato growers, who are faced with the challenges of difficult growing conditions, declining consumption and an increasingly volatile market.

Matt Simister, Tesco’s Commercial Director for Fresh Food, says: “Working collaboratively with our suppliers to ensure we provide the highest quality fresh produce for our customers is right at the heart of what we do. Whilst there isn’t a single simple solution to resolve the uncertainty faced by many potato growers, it’s important that we all play our part. These new contracts will help to bring more confidence back into the whole potato supply chain and build a truly sustainable British potato industry.”

Under the new scheme, from September, producers will be given direct contracts with Tesco and a three year rolling commitment which will guarantee in advance, the volume of the crop that the supermarket will buy.

TSFG growers will also receive a price based on their production costs, which will take into account inflation, farming inputs like the cost of fertiliser and the additional expenses involved in growing high quality fresh produce for customers.

By developing a structure to guarantee a fair price for their produce, Tesco hopes the scheme will pave the way for other retailers to work more collaboratively with growers, and help secure the future of the British potato industry.

NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Adviser, Lee Abbey, says: “The NFU welcomes initiatives that provide a greater level of security, confidence and transparency to growers and we’re pleased that Tesco has followed through its commitment, first announced at the NFU conference in 2014, to develop a dedicated potato contract. The Tesco Sustainable Farming Group is a great example of how collaboration can work and it fits very much within the principles of the NFU’s Fruit and Veg Pledge. We hope growers are able to benefit from this new approach.”

Over the past two decades, the number of potato growers across the country has fallen by over 85 per cent from 14,000, as an unpredictable trading environment, poor harvests and producers leaving the industry in favour of alternative crops.

Tesco has a long history of supporting British Agriculture through a number of farming groups and programmes to help support farmers, growers and producers with their farming input costs.

In 2007 the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group was formed for dairy farmers who produce Tesco’s own-label fresh milk and now have similar schemes for cheese, lamb, pork, beef, chicken, salmon and free-range eggs.

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Johnnie Walker to Provide Per Serving Alcohol Content and Nutritional Information On-pack

Diageo has announced that Johnnie Walker is to be its first global brand to provide consumers around the world with on-pack alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve. From early autumn, the new labels for bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label, the best-selling Scotch whisky around the world, go into production and will then be shipped to dozens of markets globally. By the end of the year, up to 30 million bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label with on-pack alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve will be on the shelves, helping consumers understand what is in their glass. Every year around 115 million bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label are typically produced and shipped around the world.

DiageoJWNutritionLabelThe labels conform to the new Diageo Consumer Information Standards (DCIS) and will apply to all Diageo brands. Diageo developed the DCIS based on research of more than 1,500 consumers around the world, including people from North America, Great Britain, Mexico and Spain. The new label designs reflect the way consumers want to receive – and can understand – information on alcohol content. Those surveyed said that when too much information (especially small text) is placed on the label it can be confusing and they may ignore it all. Less information, clearly presented was a consistent request across all markets. The research also found that, of all the information that could be included, their preference was for alcohol information (standard drink size, ABV, how many units), calories per serve, sugar content, allergens and brand facts, such as how a product is made and quality assurances.

Using this research, Diageo is committing to provide labelling across all its brands which is consistent in layout, so people know where to look for information on every pack, and uses icons which are significantly easier to understand than words, all of which tested well in focus groups.

Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, says: “We believe people should have the best possible information to make informed choices about what they drink: this includes alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve. Johnnie Walker is one of our largest global brands, which means these new labels will arm millions of people around the world with clear information about what’s in their glass and in a way they can understand at a glance.”

Cans and bottles of Ireland’s number one ale, Smithwick’s, will also soon hit the shelves with updated labels, and from early next year, Guinness Draught cans sold in the Republic of Ireland will also be updated to carry alcohol content and nutritional information per serve. Between them, Smithwick’s and Guinness account for 39 per cent of Ireland’s beer market.

Updates to Johnnie Walker Black Label, Double Black, Gold Label Reserve, Platinum and Green Label are also planned for the first half of 2017.

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Diageo Ireland Introduces New Alcohol Labelling Standards

Diageo Ireland has announced that it is rolling out new, more detailed and consumer friendly labelling standards for its products in Ireland. Smithwick’s will be the first brand in the Irish market to display the new labels, which provide consumers with full on-label alcohol content and nutritional information, including calories content, grams of alcohol per serve and warnings on drink driving and consuming alcohol during pregnancy. Diageo Ireland is the first drinks company in the Irish market to bring this labelling to consumers, an initiative which is being introduced to support consumers in making more informed and clear choices when purchasing alcohol products.

The labelling is part of the new Diageo Consumer Information Standards (DCIS), which is being rolled out on all Diageo products. Diageo developed the DCIS based on in-depth research of more than 1500 consumers around the world, to ensure the label designs reflected the way consumers want to receive – and can understand – information on alcohol content.

DiageoIreland2July2016Diageo has made a global commitment to provide locally accurate additional consumer information on its labels in all the markets it operates in, making it the first global alcohol company to offer such information. Smithwick’s will be the first Diageo product to display the new label, with global Diageo brands like Johnnie Walker also set to display the new label by the end of 2016. Diageo Ireland expects to see the new labelling standards across the Guinness range in early 2017.

Oliver Loomes, Country Director, Diageo Ireland, says: “Diageo Ireland is implementing this new labelling standard to provide consumers with clear information about what’s in their glass. This information comes as part of our commitment to providing the best possible information for consumers, empowering them to make informed choices about what they drink. We want to provide consumers with the tools to make positive choices and this initiative is part of that ongoing process.”

This announcement forms part of Diageo’s strategy to deliver its commitment to providing alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve through Diageo’s responsible drinking website DRINKiQ.com (www.DRINKiQ.com) and/or on-pack in a majority of Diageo’s markets subject to local regulatory approval, as soon as practicable.

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Tesco Unveils Fair For Farmers Guarantee on All its Milk

Tesco has unveiled a new Fair For Farmers Guarantee on all of its fresh milk, as it continues to build transparent, long-term relationships with its suppliers. The Fair For Farmers Guarantee explains how every pint of milk sold at Tesco is 100% British and provides customers with information on the fair price Tesco pays to all of its dairy farmers.

Tesco sources all of its fresh milk from the 600 British farmers who make up the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG). The Group was founded by Tesco in 2007 to ensure farmers benefit from a price which is above the cost of production.

TescoCowMatt Simister, Commercial Director for Fresh Food at Tesco, says: “Since we founded the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG) in 2007, we’ve been working in partnership with our farmers to ensure they have a sustainable long term future. When customers buy our milk they want to know our farmers are fairly treated and their cows are well cared for, so we’ve introduced the Fair For Farmers Guarantee on all our milk to give them peace of mind that they’re supporting British farmers with every pint of milk they buy.”

While prices may fluctuate in shops, Tesco pays farmers a price above the cost of production, set for three months at a time, ensuring they have a stable income, no matter what happens in the market. Since November 2007, in total Tesco has paid £240 million over market prices to its milk farmers.

TSDG Dairy farmer and Committee Chairman James Stephen says: “As a lifelong dairy farmer I’ve seen first-hand how important the stability and support from the retail industry is to help us plan for the future. For over eight years I have worked with Tesco, who continue to pay British dairy farmers above the cost of production price for our milk, so that we can focus on the things that matter most – caring for our cows and producing high quality milk. The Fair For Farmers Guarantee stamp is a simple way for customers to know that when they buy fresh milk from Tesco, they are helping to foster a better future for hundreds of British farmers.”

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The Co-op Group Backs British Agriculture and the Environment

The Co-op has underlined its strong commitment to British farmers with the launch of a progressive scheme to monitor and manage environmental impact and efficiency amongst its dedicated farming groups. The Co-op Enviro-Map programme will, over the next three years, carry out carbon footprint assessments and biodiversity surveys across six main produce sectors. Data will then be processed to generate individual farm reports that will allow farmers to benchmark performance of their business and make decisions to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Co-op Enviro-Map will be the first fully Carbon Trust accredited self entry programme covering carbon and environmental footprinting. It will sit within the Co-op’s existing Agricultural Pillars initiative, which already defines standards and incentivises performance across its Farming Group members.

“Co-op Enviro-Map will cover farms supplying dairy, beef, lamb, chicken, pork and eggs and will add a positive, significant new dimension to our existing farm support and liaison,” explains Co-op Senior Agricultural Manager Ciara Gorst. “It’s an initiative that will really help our dedicated suppliers improve the efficiency and profitability of their businesses. More than that though, it gives assurance to our customers that we understand how important environmental impact is, alongside British provenance and quality, whilst showing how we work closely with suppliers to achieve high standards across all these elements.”

The Co-op Enviro-Map programme will be carried out in collaboration with agri-environment specialists Alltech E-CO2 using data collection and analysis models adapted for online entry. Carbon footprinting models developed by Alltech E-CO2 are certified by the Carbon Trust and conform to the internationally recognised PAS 2050 methodology.

Darran Messem, Managing Director, Certification at the Carbon Trust, says: “We know from experience that when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions from farming there is a very significant gap between the best performers and the worst performers. It is therefore great to see retailers like the Co-op engaging with the issue of farm-level emissions. The launch of the Co-op Enviro-Map project can help to recognise and incentivise better performance on emissions, which can be very positive for farmers because efficiencies often result in improved profitability. We are pleased to be contributing expert input and independent certification for not only the data management system, but also the final results and carbon footprints of the farms over the next three years.”

Alltech E-CO2 Business General Manager Ben Braou explains the broader significance of a farm’s carbon footprint, saying: “A carbon footprint is the holistic indicator of performance and is directly correlated with efficiency and profitability. It is derived from a comprehensive assessment of farm performance, with all inputs, outputs and resource use taken into account. It quantifies emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (the three main greenhouse gases) and is expressed as grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per unit of production, up to the farm gate.

“In addition to carbon footprinting, the Co-op Enviro-Map will also monitor the broader environmental impact through a bespoke bio-diversity survey. Aspects such as habitat management, land use changes, nutrient leaching and soil erosion will be covered.”

Leading sustainable farming organisation, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is supportive of the Co-op initiative. Quentin Clark from LEAF says: “One of the main aims of LEAF is to help farmers produce food sustainably to the highest standards of environmental care. Managing and monitoring the environmental impact of farming practices underpins the LEAF Marque standard and the Co-op Enviro-Map programme is entirely supportive of our approach.  It provides a great example of the positive influence that can be disseminated up to producer level by those involved throughout the wider food chain. We look forward to further developing our relationship with the Co-op, who are already a principal sponsor of Open Farm Sunday, and this initiative is a great start on this journey.”

Co-op supplier farms participating in the Co-op Enviro-Map programme will receive an efficiency and sustainability report shortly after their assessment. This will review key performance indicators for the business, summarise carbon performance and provide a breakdown of emissions sources.

The assessment process is carried out through self-entry into a bespoke web-portal and should only take around one hour to complete. Training is being provided through workshops and meetings, and there will be on-going support available to assist farmers.

The scheme will involve around 400 farm assessments each year and is expected to benefit Co-op farmer suppliers individually and also allow broader benchmarking across sectors. Information generated will be used to provide more general advice and support to dedicated suppliers and also be used to educate and inform Co-op customers.

The Co-operative Group is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of over £9 billion.

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Over 40% of Sustainable Palm Oil Labels in Food Comes From Breakfast Cereals

According to Euromonitor’s new Ethical Labels data, in 2015 over 40% of sustainable palm oil labels in packaged food comes from breakfast cereals with only 1% from confectionery.

Passport Ethical Labels is Euromonitor’s brand new database created in response to the growing movement towards social responsibility and sustainability. Ethical Labels is designed to quantify the sales of packaged food and beverage products centred around three main platforms: People/Values, Environment/Sustainability and Animal Welfare. Currently, Euromonitor’s in-depth research covers 26 markets.

TOP 10 CATEGORIES FOR SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL

Ethical Labels by Size | Historic/Forecast | Retail Value RSP | Annual Total | US$ mn | Constant 2015 Prices | Fixed 2015 Exchange Rates

Ethical Label Type Geographies Categories 2015 2020
Sustainable Palm Oil World    Packaged Food 220.40 239.90
Sustainable Palm Oil World       Breakfast Cereals 92.10 103.60
Sustainable Palm Oil World       Oils and Fats 42.60 44.80
Sustainable Palm Oil World       Spreads 41.10 46.00
Sustainable Palm Oil World       Biscuits and Snack Bars 19.40 18.60
Sustainable Palm Oil World       Sauces, Dressings and Condiments 13.60 14.10
Sustainable Palm Oil World       Sweet and Savoury Snacks 9.10 10.40
Sustainable Palm Oil World       Confectionery 2.50 2.40
© Euromonitor International

Ewa Hudson, Head of Health and Wellness research, comments: “With half of all food products containing palm oil, food companies are some of the biggest users of the ingredient but there is increasing pressure on them to move to sustainably sourced variants. Ironically, the popularity of palm oil was driven, in part, by consumer pressure on the food industry to switch to trans-fat-free alternatives to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. However consumer priorities are constantly changing, and ethical consumption is flavour of the year in many markets.”

EuromonitorInternationalLogoShe continus: “Palm oil is becoming an increasingly hot topic in the food industry and there’s a growing awareness amongst consumers of food’s impact on the environment, from the larger issues of waste and greenhouse gas emissions, through to the use of palm oil and its environmental footprint. While there has been a concerted effort by the food industry to ensure the supply of palm oil is transparent and sustainable, companies could find that they have to pay a price one way or another if they don’t switch to certified palm oil soon: either by alienating green consumers, or having to pay a premium for an alternative sustainable ingredient.”

The data also shows:

  • Recycling, followed by prominently displayed local sourcing, religious label and clean label, clearly lead ethically labelled food and drinks globally.
  • At global level, The Coca-Cola Co takes the lead, selling US$73.0 billion worth of products with at least one ethical label. Within this figure, products carrying the widely recycled label are worth US$67.0 billion, those holding the kosher label sell for US$8.0 billion, products with no artificial preservatives sell for US$4.0 billion and products which are locally sourced are worth US$3.0 billion
  • With expected growth of 48% (equal to US$5.0 billion) between 2015 and 2020, the from sustainable/renewable sources label will be the most dynamic, followed by halal and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), set to rise by 28% and 23%, respectively.
  • Values that resonate with consumers are highly country and product specific. For example, for a chocolate manufacturer in the UK, Fairtrade is the label to invest in, whist for a sugar confectionery player in the US, the kosher label has become a must have, whilst, at the same time, carrying the all natural claim may help a company gain competitive advantage.
  • Nestlé takes the lead in clean label products, with an 8% value share, followed fairly closely by PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Unilever.

For more information on Ethical Labels data visit http://blog.euromonitor.com/category/ethical-labels.

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Positive Response to RSPO Certified Sustainable, Traceable Certificates Down to Mill Level

Buyers of palm oil can now choose to support specific, named producers with GreenPalm certificates, which now include the name, address and GPS location of the sustainably certified mill trading each certificate. It is an additional level of transparency for GreenPalm certificates, which represent volumes of palm oil, palm kernel oil or palm kernel expeller certified sustainable by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Since the introduction of traceability in January, numerous certificate buyers have been in contact with GreenPalm to request further information about what the move means, which details they can receive, and to explore their options for both on- and off-market deals.

Previously, multiple RSPO-certified sustainable mills submitted their certificates for sale into a collective pot on the GreenPalm market. Account names were known, but buyers received no mill transparency. Now, buyers can select the RSPO-certified grower or mill they wish to support via GreenPalm’s off-market deal facility, or can focus their sustainable sourcing on a particular geographical area.

GreenPalm enables buyers to off-set their purchases of palm products by paying the producer of an equivalent volume of RSPO-certified sustainable material. This is currently the only route for some buyers of palm fractions and derivatives to source certified sustainable palm products.

palmoilGreenPalm is also the only practical way to support the estimated 40% of palm producers who cannot export to countries where there is high demand for sustainable palm, and certified growers or mills that cannot sell physical material into the segregated supply chain.

Simon Chrismas, Product Manager of Book&Claim, which operates the GreenPalm programme, announced the development to coincide with the organisation’s attendance at the RSPO’s European Roundtable, starting on June 9th in Milan. [LINK www.eurt.rspo.org]

He said: “The details of certified producers bring buyers’ support to life. GreenPalm has always been the direct connection between buyers seeking to make an ethical choice, and producers wanting to benefit from sustainable practices. Now, we have taken this a significant step further. There are still significant barriers to supplying and buying segregated, physical palm products on a global basis. Some producers cannot export their material to key demand markets; others are RSPO-certified but are unable to sell their material into the segregated supply chain.

He continued: “These growers are often located in areas where there is an urgent need for growth in the uptake of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil. GreenPalm enables all RSPO-certified producers and all buyers, regardless of their location, to play a part in the sustainable palm movement. This inclusivity is vital to driving change in the palm industry, and to growing demand in countries outside the EU and North America.”

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Backing the First Global Standard to Fight Food Waste

Nestlé has played a key role in developing the first global standard to help companies and governments reduce food loss and waste. Food loss and waste costs the global economy US$940 billion per year, and generates around 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Launched at the 3GF Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen, the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard was developed by the multi-stakeholder Food Loss and Waste Protocol.

Members of this partnership include the Consumer Goods Forum (of which Nestlé is a key member), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Resources Institute.

In January 2016, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke joined a new coalition, Champions 12.3, to accelerate progress towards fulfilling United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3 on food waste.

Nestlé is working towards zero waste for disposal at all its sites, just one of the Swiss group’s commitments to environmental sustainability.

Since 2005, the company has reduced total waste for disposal from the 436 Nestlé factories by 62%. At the end of 2015, 105 Nestlé factories (22%) achieved zero waste for disposal. Nestlé has committed to achieve zero waste for disposal in all its sites by 2020.

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Mondelez International Strengthens Efforts to Address Child Labour in Cocoa Production

Embode, a human rights consultancy, has published the results of two independent assessments of child protection in the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Mondelēz International commissioned these assessments as part of the company’s continuing efforts to empower cocoa-farming communities through its Cocoa Life program. Embode assessed conditions in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in 2015 and analyzed the environment and national child protection infrastructure.

The reports commend Cocoa Life’s holistic approach and direct work with cocoa communities in its supply chain. Embode recognizes Cocoa Life’s potential to drive meaningful change at scale by tackling the root causes of child labor, and recommends that Mondelēz International build on its existing approach to strengthen cocoa communities’ capacity to foster the well-being of children.

“We value Embode’s insights and plan to implement the recommendations for our Cocoa Life program,” says Cathy Pieters, Director of Cocoa Life. “We’ll consult with our program partners and government authorities to strengthen existing child protection structures, improve access to education and continue to address root causes like poverty in Cocoa Life communities in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.”

Aidan McQuade, Director of Anti-Slavery International, says: “Embode’s reports are a significant step forward for transparency and offer new thinking on ways to address the root causes of child labor in cocoa farming. Further engaging with other businesses through existing non-competitive platforms within the cocoa sector to address these issues will be crucial to help deliver wider impact.”

For both countries, Embode’s recommendations to Cocoa Life include:

* Developing and implementing a child protection policy and code, which would explicitly require the reporting and referral of child protection cases, including child labor and child slavery

* Taking more initiatives aimed at improving children’s access to education

* Reviewing targets and indicators to measure progress on children’s well-being

* Working alongside communities with a “system-strengthening” approach to ensure sustainability of outcomes over the long term

* Working in closer partnership with local and national authorities to align and contribute to governments’ strategies for cocoa sustainability and child well-being

* Engaging proactively with the cocoa sector to share Cocoa Life’s distinct approach to cocoa sustainability.

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2016 Creating Shared Value Prize Finalists

Natural Extracts Industries (NEI) from Tanzania and Agro-Hub from Cameroon have been selected as the finalists for Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value Prize 2016. NEI is a social enterprise pioneering the sustainable extraction of flavours in Tanzania. Agro-Hub is an agricultural production and marketing agency in South-West Cameroon working to help small-scale cassava farmers gain access to sustainable markets.

After four screening phases, the two finalists were selected from a group of 450 applicants by the Nestlé CSV Council, along with 9 independent experts and 9 Nestlé internal experts. Both programs stand out for providing social-economic benefits to smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, and increasing commercial value locally in the production of vanilla and cassava. They reflect good examples of how the private sector can contribute to increasing livelihoods in Africa.

The winner will receive a share of SFr500,000 in prize monies.

Through the prize, Nestlé rewards initiatives that reflect the spirit of Creating Shared Value by addressing challenges in nutrition, water, or rural development. The winners reflect Nestlé’s belief that for a company to be successful in the long term and create economic and social value for its shareholders, it must also create value for society as a whole.

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Helping 410,000 Young Latin Americans Enter the World of Work

One in eight people under 25 in Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico does not have a job. It is a challenge that governments and business must address together. Nestlé will create around 2,800 jobs and 2,300 apprenticeships and traineeships under its Nestlé Needs YOUthinitiative in the four Pacific Alliance nations by the end of 2018.

Nestlé will also provide readiness-for-work training for more than 407,000 young people over the same period.

“At Nestlé, we need all kinds of skills. We have 335,000 employees and over 430 factories in 85 countries. We need brand managers, engineers, packers, researchers, digital experts,” says Nestlé’s Head of Zone Americas, Laurent Freixe. “We firmly believe we can make a significant contribution towards addressing the social cost of youth unemployment.”

Through its global Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative, Nestlé aims to attract young talent and tackle youth unemployment. The programme was launched across Europe in 2013, and extended globally in 2015.

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European Commission Adopts Proposal to Improve Working Conditions in Fishing Sector

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive which aims at improving the working conditions for workers in the fishing sector. Following an agreement by social partners on working conditions in the fishing sector, the European Commission is translating the agreement into a legal proposal for a Directive.

In 2013, the EU social partners in the fishing sector reached an agreement, which proposed to align EU law with the “Work in Fishing” Convention 2007 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Once adopted by the Council, this directive will implement the social partner agreement, which provides for a higher level of protection of EU fishermen.

The proposed Directive will improve the living and working conditions of fishermen. It includes minimum requirements for:

* Work on board (e.g. minimum age, medical certificate, information in the employment contract)

* Conditions of service (working time limits, right of repatriation)

* Accommodation and food

* Occupational safety and health protection, including medical treatment on board and ashore

Furthermore, the implementation of the social partner agreement in EU legislation is expected to set an example for third countries to ratify the 2007 ILO Working in Fishing Convention. This is particularly relevant in the context of the fight against illegal fishing.

The European fisheries industry is the fourth largest in the world. The fisheries industry provides jobs for over 100,000 people in the EU. It supplies some 6.4 million tonnes of fish each year. Sea fishing is a cross-border sector which operates worldwide. Accordingly, fishing vessels registered in or sailing under the flag of an EU Member State also operate outside the territorial waters of the EU Member State concerned, for instance in waters under jurisdiction of other EU Member States and in international waters.

Fishermen often live and work for days on board of the vessel in difficult circumstances with heavy equipment. The accident and injury rate in the sector is high compared to other sectors: it can be 15 times higher than average. They do not return to their homes on a daily basis, so they are dependent on their employer for medical care on board, food, potable water, and accommodation.

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The Real Stevia Company in Collaboration With Organic Sugar Cooperative in Paraguay

The Real Stevia Company’s subsidiary Granular PY has signed a partnership agreement with Manduvirá Cooperative, Paraguay’s leading cooperative for the production of organic sugar canes and industrialization of organic cane sugar in the country. The collaboration strengthens both companies’ work with smallholder farmers and their families. Together the companies improve living conditions for approximately 5,500 people in the Paraguayan countryside.

“We are two organizations with a common set of values in which we work with smallholder farmers for organic and Fairtrade certified production. With this partnership, we can support Manduvirá Cooperative’s farmers to diversify their production. By offering them stevia as an additional crop to sugar, together we can provide them with better incomes, all year round,” says Margarita Duarte, Managing Director of Granular PY.

The agreement with the Manduvirá Cooperative means Granular PY will support them with technical support, assist in exchange of experiences between farmers from different regions and provide internship programs for students.

Granular PY has a strong sustainability profile and has since 2007 worked with smallholder farmers in Paraguay for the production of organically grown stevia leaves. By assisting farmers with seedlings, training, technical support and teaching them how to grow stevia in a sustainable way it has led to a positive impact in the lives of over 1,500 people. Cooperation with Manduvirá Cooperative means that the company will be able to make an even bigger difference.

Stevia has been used as a sweetener by the Guarani-Indians of Paraguay since ancient times. By mixing stevia with sugar a reduction of up to 50% of the sugar in a product can be achieved without affecting taste or product characteristics.

“There is already a strong growing market for a sugar product with reduced calorie and natural origin, that is to say, a mixture of organic sugar and stevia. Cooperation between the Manduvirá Cooperative and Granular PY means we are at the forefront while continuing to do good for society and the environment through an organic and Fairtrade-certified production,” says Luis Ruiz Diaz,President of the Manduvirá Cooperative.

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Tesco Invests in the Future For Britain’s Dairy Farmers

Tesco will invest £6 million over two years to help support British agriculture. The retailer has created the new Tesco Cheese Group (TCG), which will guarantee dairy farmers an above market price for the milk they produce for Tesco’s British own-label Mild, Medium, Mature, Extra Mature, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester cheese. The move will deliver a fair and consistent pricing model for UK farmers, and will provide them with the security and ability to plan ahead for the future.

Building on the success of the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG) which was established in 2007, and pays a market leading price for dairy farmers who supply Tesco with milk to the help them manage the economic volatility of the market; the new Cheese Group is the latest addition to the retailer’s programme of initiatives to support British farmers.

Tesco commercial director for Fresh Food Matt Simister says: “We have created this new cheese group to help us to meet customers’ needs whilst also establishing a long term sustainable livelihood for our farmers. By providing them with the assurance of our commitment, we are hoping to give our producers the confidence to invest so that they can deliver what customers are looking for in an efficient way.”

TescoCompressedHe adds: “It is our hope that up to 200 more dairy farms across Britain who produce milk for our British cheese, in addition to the 600 producing milk through the TSDG, can work with us in partnership to create a successful and sustainable future for their production. For almost a decade we have worked with dairy farmers to offer the best possible quality milk , produced to the highest standards for our customers, whilst ensuring farmers receive a fair price for their milk. We are confident that this new initiative will enable producers, for our own-label cheese, to also plan and budget for the future; and focus on the things that matter most-  meeting high animal welfare and food quality standards for customers.”

Mike Gallacher, chief executive of First Milk, the British dairy co-operative, says: “This new agreement we have concluded with Tesco is about establishing a long term, progressive and sustainable supply chain partnership over the coming years. While the current context is hugely challenging in dairy, we need to continue to keep focused on the long term ensuring that we put in place business models that can deliver for our customers, consumers and producers.”

The new mechanism provides clear, equitable and transparent pricing which will be set regularly throughout the year. The price will reflect the market and will also award farmers a two pence per litre bonus – in recognition that they must adhere to the Red Tractor assurance scheme, as well as additional Tesco welfare standards, to improve cow health and welfare.

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USAID Joins Nespresso and TechnoServe in Supporting South Sudan’s Coffee Farmers

Nespresso and its non-profit development partner TechnoServe have announced a new partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support its efforts to rebuild the coffee industry in South Sudan. USAID will invest US$3.18 million over the next three years to assist Nespresso and TechnoServe to help raise farmers’ incomes and expand export markets.

Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso, says: “This funding injection will allow us to scale the project up and help an even greater number of farmers grow and sell high quality coffee for international export at a higher price, thus creating a better quality of life for farmers and their families.”

Nespresso and TechnoServe have been working with local farmers in South Sudan since 2011 to revive high-quality coffee production after the local coffee industry was decimated by years of civil war. So far more than 700 farmers have received technical assistance and training in sustainable farming methods through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. As part of our Nestlé in Society Creating Shared Value commitments, the program will have trained 1500 South Sudanese farmers by 2019, 25 percent of whom will be women.

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Renaissance For Cameroon’s Cocoa Cooperatives

The Cargill Coop Academy, an adult education managerial program aimed at cocoa farmer cooperative leaders, will now deploy in Cameroon. The training aims at helping to reduce poverty for vulnerable local communities and professionalize farmer organizations. A four year commitment providing education in partnership with Telcar to almost 900 executives from 227 farmer organizations has been made by IFC, a member of the World Bank and Cargill.

Welcoming the initiative at the inaugural ceremony, HE M Henri EYEBE AYISSI, Cameroon’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “Agricultural and cooperative education as much as the improvement of living standards in rural areas are our priorities. With the Cargill Coop Academy, we see an inspirational initiative developed in Cameroon to the benefit of our cocoa farming communities.”

Cooperatives have proven to be one of the most efficient and effective means to reach cocoa farmers, reduce poverty and impact their livelihoods. Decentralized and local, they help famers bring their products to the market. Further developing and professionalizing farmer organizations is a key priority of the Cargill Cocoa Promise because they are extraordinary multipliers to promote good agricultural practices and behavioral change in rural areas. Initiated in 2013, some 320 executives from 80 cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire have already had access to 28 days of intensive classroom training followed by a full year of personalized on-the-ground coaching. Building on the lessons learned and following an in-depth assessment of the country specific requirements, the program is now brought into Cameroon.

“Empowered farmer organizations play a pivotal role in the development of rural infrastructures and the improvement of living standards of agricultural communities. With our support on the ground, executives are able to make a tangible difference to their business,” says Mehita Sylla, IFC country manager in Cameroon. “Our advisory services, funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), focus on advancing the professionalism of farmer groups by customizing training and coaching to teach required business skills, and enabling access to input financing to ensure the farmer’s success.”

More than US$1.1 million has been committed until 2020 by the partners to roll out the program. “There is an opportunity to provide the nascent cooperatives in Cameroon with the appropriate support right from the beginning. Along the performance indicators we defined, we will keep monitoring progress and report back in full transparency to ensure a measurable impact,” says Lionel Soulard, Managing director for Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in West Africa.

Ultimately, the aim is to reach over 50.000 farmers and train them on adapted financial literacy and cooperative management in recognition of their role as the true drivers of successful cooperatives. Chief Executive officer of Telcar, Cargill’s joint venture partner in Cameroon, Mme Kate Kanyi Tometi Fotso commented: “We have started farmer training five years ago and can look back to a very successful development.  With the Cargill Coop Academy, we be able to reach a new level of sophistication and accelerate the outreach to cocoa farmer organizations.”

The Cargill Cocoa Promise, launched in 2012, is the commitment to improve the livelihoods of farmers and their communities in ways that enable them to deliver more cocoa in the long term and secure a thriving cocoa sector for generations to come.

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Nescafé Coffee Centre Opens in China

Nestlé has opened a new Nescafé Coffee Centre for research and development in the city of Puer, Yunnan China. Working with the College of Tropical Crops at Yunnan Agricultural University, the centre will provide training opportunities to farmers, agronomists and industry professionals.

It will also be home to a green coffee bean laboratory, and provide coffee processing facilities. We have been working in Yunnan since 1988. As part of Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value commitment to rural development and responsible sourcing the company has provided field management and processing training to almost 15,000 farmers so far.

NCC, which covers an area of 30,000 square meters, has two parts. One is the training center and green coffee bean laboratory to provide exchange and training opportunities to farmers, agronomists and industry professionals; the second is the quality control lab and warehousing facility. With continuously growing coffee output, NCC will provide processing facilities to ensure coffee bean purchasing, and set purchasing and testing criteria based on international standard. “Nestlé is committed to developing coffee farming in Puer, Yunnan, and has reached remarkable achievements and created shared value by working with local government and farmers over the past three decades,” says John Cheung, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé China. “NCC integrates training, technical support, lab and modern warehousing, and thus promotes the effort for win-win result to a higher level. It builds us a larger platform for cooperation, exchange and sharing with research institutions and the whole industry.”

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Danone Signs Agreement on Sustainable Employment

Danone and the IUF (International Union of Food and Allied Workers) have announced the signing of a tenth agreement, dedicated specifically to sustainable employment. This agreement applies to all Danone subsidiaries around the world. It aims to promote sustainable employment above and beyond the legal framework of each country where Danone operates. In it, Danone and the IUF jointly commit to reducing precarious employment in any form through clear definitions, processes and methodology.

Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber says: “Regular exchanges between management and labor are an integral part of Danone’s corporate culture and our dual commitment to social progress and business success. Our connection with the IUF goes back many years, and I am very happy to join Ron Oswald, Secretary General of the IUF, in signing this agreement—our tenth. It will allow us to secure and develop our teams’ skills, improve the quality of our products even more, and give our employees better access to their fundamental social rights.”

Signing this agreement will ensure ongoing improvement in working conditions through a constant dialogue between local management teams and workers’ representatives. This dialogue also aims to regulate the use of fixed-term and outsourced employment. Reducing these precarious forms of employment will enhance both Danone’s attractiveness and its employees’ engagement, promoting greater stability and better working conditions—and with them improved business performance.

Danone and the IUF jointly agree that permanent, direct and sustainable employment is the best guarantee of full enjoyment of fundamental rights by employees. To this end, the agreement spells out specific situations that may justify temporary employment: access to a new market, economic crisis, seasonal activity, specific competencies needed, or the acquisition of a company.

The agreement reached by Danone and the IUF sets out clear principles that guarantee the respect of fundamental rights for all Danone’s employees, and thus employees of subcontractors as well. It defines three broad categories:

* Permanent full- and part-time employees directly hired by Danone for an unlimited duration;

* Fixed-term employees hired by Danone either directly or through an agency for a specified duration;

* Outsourced workers employed by a service provider to perform tasks on-site or off-site; independent contractors also come under this category.

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Produce World Encourages Potato Growers of the Future

Nearly four hundred schoolchildren have been introduced to potato growing thanks to Produce World and the East of England Agricultural Society’s Kids Country initiative. All the children who enjoyed the Grow Your Own Potatoes planting event at the East of England Showground will return in June to see how well their potatoes have done, and take part in a weigh-in to see who has grown the most.

Rachel Ilgunas from Produce World says: “This is our fourth year of involvement with the Kids Country Grow Your Own Potatoes event and it was another great planting day with hundreds of local children taking part. The anticipation of Harvest Day on 8th June was already setting in with our young growers!”

The Produce World Group is the largest supplier of fresh vegetables in the UK, providing produce into major retailers, food service and food manufacturing customers. Crops supplied by the group include potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, leaks, and garlic. As well as conventionally grown vegetables, the Produce World Group is a leader in the organic category.

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Tesco Rolls Out Community Food Connection With FareShare FoodCloud

Tesco has announced the nationwide roll-out of an initiative designed to dramatically reduce the amount of food that goes to waste. The move follows through a farm to fork commitment by Tesco to tackle food waste from its suppliers, through its stores, and customers’ homes.

The groundbreaking nationwide scheme – Community Food Connection with FareShare FoodCloud – is being launched in 15 cities and regions across the UK including Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton and Portsmouth.

In the coming months the initiative will be rolled out to Leeds, Leicester, Kent and the West Midlands. Tesco has said it will reach all large Tesco stores – numbering over 800 – by the end of 2016, with all stores covered by the end of 2017.

Community Food Connection is powered by FareShare FoodCloud, an open platform that helps store colleagues and charities work together seamlessly.

Tesco also believes that once fully developed, other retailers could adopt FareShare FoodCloud to create an industry standard platform to make a real difference to local charities and communities.

Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco.

Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco.

According to Tesco, food waste is a global issue. Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, was recently appointed chair of a coalition of leaders from government, businesses, international organisations, research institutions, and civil society called Champions 12.3. The Champions 12.3 coalition will work to create political, business and social momentum to reduce food loss and waste around the world.

Dave Lewis comments: “We believe no food that could be eaten should be wasted – that’s why we have committed that no surplus food should go to waste from our stores. We know it’s an issue our customers really care about, and wherever there’s surplus food at Tesco stores, we’re committed to donating it to local charities so we can help feed people in need. But we know the challenge is bigger than this and that’s why we’ve made a farm to fork commitment to reduce food waste upstream with our suppliers and in our own operations and downstream in our customers’ own homes.”

The scheme has already been piloted in fourteen Tesco stores over the past six months and has generated over 22 tonnes of food – the equivalent to 50,000 meals.

Tesco and FareShare are calling out for 5,000 charities and community groups to join up and receive free surplus food through the scheme, as part of a huge nationwide charity recruitment drive.

The scheme will be in place in all Tesco stores by the end of 2017, which means thousands of charities all over the country will benefit from millions of pounds worth of surplus food each year.

The latest figures show 55,400 tonnes of food were thrown away at Tesco stores and distribution centres in the UK last year, of which around 30,000 tonnes could otherwise have been eaten – equivalent to around 70 million meals.

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, says: “We are delighted to be offering our store level solution in partnership with Tesco who are demonstrating real leadership in tackling food surplus. FareShare FoodCloud is a natural extension of our work together which has already provided nine million meals to help feed vulnerable people. Our role as a trusted partner to the voluntary sector is really important to the charities and community groups we work with and we are excited to launch this new service with Tesco’s support.”

Tesco remains the only UK retailer to publish transparent data about food waste from its own operations. The next set of food waste data will be published by Tesco in May.

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Cargill Cocoa Promise Report – How Livelihoods For Cocoa Farmers and Their Communities are Improving

Cargill has published its second report on the Cargill Cocoa Promise, highlighting its progress towards improving the livelihoods of cocoa famers and their communities. Strengthening the Cargill Cocoa Promise, the company has introduced a monitoring and evaluation system to improve the effectiveness of its activities, enabling a more evidence-based approach to help raise the living standards of farmers and their families, as well as to address the sustainability challenges in the cocoa supply chain.

“We have advanced our way of thinking and reporting. It’s not only about reaching the farmer, we are focused on improving livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities. Capturing the results of our efforts achieved on the ground is key, as it helps us understand how our actions are delivering results that truly benefit farmers and communities” says Harold Poelma, President, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate.

Farmer organizations are the starting-point for farmer training, farm development and community support. In association with strong partner organizations on the ground, Cargill supports the development of professional, business-oriented farmer organizations that take responsibility for managing sustainability programs and supporting their implementation by farmers and communities. Some 181 farmer cooperatives are now enrolled in the program.

By participating in the Cargill Cocoa Promise, farmers become empowered, self-supporting entrepreneurs who manage professional and responsible farms and generate a living income or beyond. In 2015, some 90,000 cocoa farmers attended 2,700 Farmer Field Schools. This training enables farmers to achieve maximum profitability from their cocoa farms, to optimize production by using inputs, such as crop protection and fertilizers efficiently, while reducing their impact on the environment. Through applying better plant protection, a 23% average yield improvement could be achieved for farmers.

CargillCocoa2April2016Building on more than a decade of experience and lessons, a major part of the work today is focused on women’s empowerment, children’s protection and family nutrition. Because of the role women often play as care givers and food providers, the Cargill Cocoa Promise is helping to reduce poverty whilst improving family welfare and child nutrition. In 2015, more than 2,000 women successfully accessed credit to support income generating activities, which is over 50% of the total number of people who received finance through Village Saving and Loan Associations set-up with Cargill’s support.

Through the reach of the Cargill Cocoa Promise, 97% of children enrolled in the program in Ghana have stayed in school for at least five years. And in the last two years, thanks to new infrastructure, primary school enrolment has increased by 4.7%.

The main evolution outlined in the report are the robust methods Cargill has established to monitor and evaluate progress in terms of gains in autonomy and professionalization of farmer cooperatives, enhanced entrepreneurial capacity for farmers and empowerment of the farming communities. This evolved framework enables the program to illustrate the achieved results with evidence. The data is shared with farmers and farm organizations, allowing for better planning and targeted activities to improve cocoa profitability. And ultimately, the enhanced traceability, aligned with the industry efforts, provides our customers with hard facts, helping them deliver their sustainability strategies.

“The ‘let’s produce more’ approach is shifting to a more nuanced alternative. We’re looking to increase profitability of the farm, by increasing productivity in a cost efficient manner,” says Taco Terheijden, director of cocoa sustainability at Cargill. “That’s why we have evolved the way we deliver the program and measure its impact. We will continue to extend its scope and reach, bringing more benefits to farmers, families and cocoa communities.”

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Nestlé Empowers One Million Women in Farming

Over one million women in Asian and African farming communities have been empowered through their work with Nestlé, according to a new report. Launched to coincide with International Women’s Day, the annual Nestlé in society Creating Shared Value report also sets out the company’s progress during 2015 in the area of gender balance, noting that 34 percent of leadership positions worldwide are held by women.

“We have always believed that in order to prosper we need the communities we serve and in which we operate to prosper as well,” says Nestlé chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. “Our 39 commitments go beyond compliance and are based on common sense values we believe in, that form the foundation upon which we build our actions in Creating Shared Value.”

The Nestlé in society report, which is published alongside the group’s 2015 Annual Report, gives insights into the company’s progress in the areas of nutrition, water and environmental and social sustainability.

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Carlsberg’s Economic Contribution to Society 2015

Carlsberg Group has published its economic contribution report, which illustrates that significant value is added to society through the production and consumption of the Carlsberg Group’s products.

The group has brewery operations in more than 40 countries in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia. In addition, the brewer is present in more than 100 countries worldwide through license and export agreements.

  • The Carlsberg Group employs around 45,000 people directly and, taking into account jobs generated indirectly in related industries such as agriculture and hospitality, the Group generates jobs for 455,000 people in total.
  • Using a well-recognized methodology, Regioplan estimates that in 2015 the Carlsberg Group generated DKr104.7 billion in total government revenues directly and through related industries.
  • DKr 78.2 billionn in value added is generated by the production and consumption of Carlsberg Group’s products and DKr92.6 billion is generated through gross revenue, other income, financial income and income included in special items.

Carlsberg Group’s majority-owned companies invested DKr38 million within their local communities, including in-kind donations such as free products to support charity events, direct financial contributions and cause-related marketing activities. Across the Group, Carlsberg had 816 community engagement activities in 2015. 6,395 employees spent more than 25,000 hours on volunteering projects supporting local communities.

This is the second time Carlsberg Group has reported on its full economic contributions to society.

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Mondelez International Reports Strong Progress in Cocoa Life Sustainability Program

Mondelēz International has published the first progress report on its Cocoa Life sustainability program, which highlights the wide-ranging impact and efforts to date across its six cocoa-growing origins: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, India and Brazil. Since its inception in 2012 to the end of 2015, Cocoa Life reached 76,700 farmers in over 795 communities, establishing a strong foundation and framework for the program.

The report provides measurement data from Cocoa Life’s first impact evaluation in Ghana, where Cocoa Life began as the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership. Initial results show Cocoa Life farmers’ incomes tripled since 2009, which is 49 percent more than control communities measured. Likewise, cocoa yield increased 37 percent more than the control communities. The report also includes data from a needs assessment of the five regions where Cocoa Life is in place in Côte d’Ivoire and an Indonesia baseline assessment, which identifies key areas that will be targeted and measured for improvement.

“This progress report brings together the voices of people in cocoa communities across all our origins and demonstrates how the program is working together with local governments, our suppliers and partners to build lasting change on the ground,” said Cathy Pieters, Cocoa Life Program Director. “Cocoa Life integrates the work of our stakeholders to achieve common goals in ways that are relevant and tailored to Cocoa Life farming communities around the world.”

As the world’s largest chocolate company and buyer of cocoa, Mondelēz International is committed to ensuring a sustainable cocoa supply chain. Today, 21 percent of the company’s cocoa is sustainably sourced and brands such as Côte d’Or and Marabou are now displaying the Cocoa Life logo. Cocoa Life is a long-term $400 million investment to empower 200,000 cocoa farmers and reach over one million community members by 2022.

“I’m proud of our Cocoa Life program and the transformative impact we are having on our cocoa supply chain and the communities we source cocoa from, as shown in this report,” says César Melo, President, Global Chocolate, Mondelēz International. “Cocoa Life connects the beginning and end of the cocoa supply chain so farmers can see how their cocoa crop contributes to the chocolate we enjoy. As Cocoa Life grows and expands its reach, we will continue to be transparent about our measures for success and key learnings, and share the progress we are making against our goals.”

Cocoa Life is a part of Mondelēz International’s Call For Well-being, a call to action focused on four areas that are critical to the well-being of the world and where the company can make the greatest impact: Sustainability, Well-being, Communities, and Safety.

For the full progress report, please visit: http://bit.ly/1Oji9y1

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