Tag Archive | "sustainability"

PepsiCo sets sugar reduction targets


PepsiCo has announced ambitious plans to dramatically reduce the sugar content in its drinks as part of its sustainable growth strategy for 2025.

These goals aim to continue “transforming PepsiCo’s food and beverage product portfolio”.

Its goals include: At least two-thirds of its global beverage portfolio volume will have 100 calories or fewer from added sugars per 12-oz serving by 2025; at least three-quarters of its global foods portfolio volume will not exceed 1.3 milligrams of sodium per calorie by 2025; and the company will provide access to at least three billion servings of nutritious foods and beverages to underserved communities and consumers.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi says: “We have mapped our plans against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and we believe the steps we are taking will help lift PepsiCo to even greater heights in the year ahead. Companies like PepsiCo have a tremendous opportunity – as well as a responsibility – to not only make a profit, but to do so in a way that makes a difference in the world.”

Also included in their sustainability targets are commitments to significantly reduce carbon emissions, particularly those related to agriculture and packaging. Other elements of the plan include increased efforts in water preservation, sustainable sourcing of crops and the reduction of waste.

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Food and drink manufacturers to reduce emissions by 55% in 10 years


The Food and Drink Federation has pledged to reduce the carbon emissions of manufacturers in the industry by 55% by 2025.

The group, which has hailed its previous sustainability efforts, has issued a set of commitments that industry plans to follow to decrease its carbon footprint even further.

As well as the proposed 55% reduction, which is fully in line with wider government targets, members of the federation have committed to a cut in supply chain waste of 3.2%. The group also maintains a commitment to send absolutely no food and packaging waste to landfill from members’ own direct operations from 2016 and beyond.

Furthermore, more emphasis on more sustainable packaging and reducing the amount of water used in manufacturing is included in the pledges.

Helen Munday, chief scientific officer at the Food and Drink Federation, says: “Now, having made great progress across a range of areas, including massive CO2 emission and water use reductions, we’ve looked again at what more we can deliver, engaging with more companies within our sector and beyond. The partnership approach has proven most effective at engaging the diverse parts of the UK food chain.”

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WCF launches new program


NestleCocoaThe World Cocoa Foundation has announced the launch of its new program designed to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sector to address the threat climate change poses to cocoa sustainability and the many livelihoods the sector supports. The WCF-led partnership brings together ACDI/VOCA, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa companies. The announcement was made by WCF’s Acting President Tim McCoy during a presentation at Penn State’s Frontiers in Science and Technology for Cacao Quality, Productivity and Sustainability meeting.

According to WCF, this partnership is an unprecedented effort involving numerous stakeholders across the cocoa value chain to develop solutions to climate and weather variability and deforestation, which pose critical economic, social and environmental threats to millions of smallholder cocoa farmers, national economies of cocoa producing countries, and the global cocoa and chocolate industry. West Africa accounts for more than 70% of global cocoa output, while Central America’s cocoa sector is smaller but has been growing rapidly in recent years. Climate modeling suggests that various regions may need to change crops and cropping strategies, or implement adaptive management practices, in order to maintain cocoa supply and viable livelihoods.

“Addressing climate change is an important priority for the cocoa and chocolate industry, farmers, small businesses and national governments in origin producing countries, and the broader international community,” said WCF Acting President, Tim McCoy. “Addressing this issue today will help prepare for tomorrow and will build the foundation for a strong private sector platform. Investing in climate smart cocoa is a critical step in ensuring greater sustainability in the cocoa sector and positions our industry to respond to the realities of climate change discussed at COP21 in Paris last year.”

The program builds on existing industry commitments to increase cocoa productivity among smallholder producers in countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia as well as the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. With support and expertise from USAID and ACDI/VOCA, private sector partners will develop a common strategy to address climate’s impacts on cocoa and develop innovations to assist farmers in adapting to changing weather patterns, such as research and development of climate resilient planting material, improved farming practices, and new agroforestry models. The program will also focus on the challenge of deforestation in cocoa growing regions, and will include collaboration with technical experts such as the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on ongoing research on climate modeling and deforestation mapping.

“Climate change will have significant impact on cocoa in West Africa with the majority of effects projected to occur by 2030,” said CIAT’s Theme Leader on Linking Farmers to Markets, Mark Lundy. “This means that cacao planted today will need to adapt to changing rainfall patterns as well as higher temperatures during its productive lifespan. This new initiative is critical because it inserts solid climate projections for cocoa into private sector decision-making processes, allows for dialogues with public agencies and donors, and prioritizes collective investment plans to ensure a resilient cocoa sector that benefits farmers, companies and consumers into the future.”

WCF member companies involved in the partnership include Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Ecom Agrotrade, The Hershey Company, Lindt & Sprüngli, Mars, Nestlé, Olam International, and Touton. The partnership contributes to the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, which supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that can reduce hunger, poverty and malnutrition.

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Union and Climeworks are joining forces in CAPDrinks project


UntitledFunded by the Eurostars programme a project between Swiss company Climeworks and Danish Union Engineering is taking shape. The objective of the proposed project is to develop a standardized, competitive, low cost, modular, standalone, and onsite plant for delivery of beverage grade CO2 to bottling companies.

The CO2 stems majorly from atmospheric air and is in a first step concentrated to 99.9% by a Climeworks direct air capture (“DAC”) plant.

In a second step CO2 is purified and liquefied (“conditioning”) to achieve beverage grade CO2 purity by Union technology.

Climeworks provides solutions for efficiently capturing CO2 out of ambient air and hence offer a competitive and environmentally friendly CO2 supply to the customers. The upcycled CO2 can be used in the food and beverage industry, as a feedstock for production of various chemicals as well as it enables the production of carbon-neutral renewable fuels allowing for efficient storage of renewable energies.

Union Engineering is a world-class engineering company, specialized in sustainable technologies for capturing, recovering and purification of carbon dioxide. Main activities are engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance of modular and individually designed CO2 plants.

The joint project started March 2016 with a duration of 18 months. The project budget is €1,070,580.

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Craft brewery’s edible six pack rings


brewery_makes_edible_beer_rings-1Most plastic beer six‐pack rings end up in our oceans and pose a serious threat to wildlife. Saltwater Brewery together with WeBelievers has designed, tested and prototyped the first ever Edible Six Pack Rings, made with byproducts of the beer making process, that instead of killing animals, feeds them. They are also 100% biodegradable and compostable.

Plastic rings holding six packs of beer in place can cause serious problems if they end up in the sea, endangering marine life with possible strangulation as well as posing a serious threat to wildlife.

We Believers and Saltwater Brewery, a small craft beer brand in Florida whose primary targets are surfers fishermen and people who love the sea, decided to tackle the issue head on and make a statement for the whole beer industry to follow.

“Together with Saltwater Brewery we ideated, designed, prototyped and manufactured Edible Six Pack Rings. A six-pack packaging design that instead of killing animals, feeds them,” said We Believers in a statement.

These six-pack rings are made from beer by-products during the brewing process, such as barley and wheat, and are safe for human and animal consumption as well as being 100% biodegradable and compostable.

The creators believe that, while production costs are currently quite high, they can be reduced if other breweries start to use them. In the meantime, they feel that many environmentally conscious consumers won’t mind paying a little more for this innovation.

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ADM progresses no-deforestation policy


palmoilADM and The Forest Trust (TFT) recently completed an initial assessment of ADM’s global palm oil and soybean supply chains — the first step toward full implementation of the No-Deforestation Policy the company adopted in May.

Data and observations from these assessments are detailed in two progress reports the company issued earlier this month.

Though—with rare exceptions—ADM is not a grower of crops, the No-Deforestation policy aims to leverage the company’s role as a major buyer of crops to help create more sustainable, traceable agricultural supply chains that protect high carbon stock forests, important natural ecosystems and peatlands, as well as the human rights of individuals along the agricultural value chain. ADM has partnered with The Forest Trust to implement the policy.

In the progress reports, the organisations note that establishing traceable supply chains requires an initial risk assessment; an evaluation of direct suppliers’ sourcing practices; the development of action plans to help suppliers achieve compliance with ADM’s policy; and ongoing monitoring and reporting.

Currently, ADM says it is in the supplier-review phase of its palm-oil implementation plan, having completed the initial mapping process through a comprehensive TFT review of the company’s palm oil sourcing and processing operations. The company has confirmed that 85 percent of its global palm-oil supply is already traceable back to the mill of origin.

On the soybean side, because ADM is the first large global agribusiness that has committed to No-Deforestation in its soy supply chain, TFT is for the first time mapping a company’s key sourcing regions against areas in South America considered to be at high risk for deforestation. TFT teams spent the second half of 2015 visiting multiple South American countries to begin developing a global action plan intended to help growers achieve compliance with ADM’s policy.

“The partnership between ADM and The Forest Trust is off to a productive start,” said Timothy Venverloh, ADM director, Global Sustainability. “Working together, we’ve been able to make significant headway on our shared goal of ensuring that the soybean and palm-oil supply chains are managed in ways that protect the environment, biodiversity and human rights.”

“We’re very pleased with the progress our organizations have made in the first months since ADM adopted its No-Deforestations policy,” added Robin Barr, director for TFT. “Particularly when it comes to soy, we and ADM are breaking new ground in terms of agricultural supply-chain traceability. The work we are doing together should create a template for other organizations to follow.”

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Crown cuts waste to landfill by 37% in sustainability drive


The metal packaging giant has published its third global sustainability report which compared the figures to its first report in 2007, showing 9% more waste recycled per billion cans, and more than 100% more waste converted to energy, an increase of nearly 3,000 metric tons.

Crown also used 14% less coatings since 2007, representing a reduction of nearly 9,000 metric tons.

There has also been a 28% reduction in its days away case rate since 2007, recordable injury cases have decreased by 39% since 2009, zero work-related fatalities during its entire reporting period since 2007.

Timothy  Donahue, president and chief operating officer of Crown, said the company used innovative approaches to infuse sustainability across the board.
“Some of our greatest achievements in this reporting cycle are in the areas of waste management, coatings reduction and employee safety. We are committed to continuous improvement in these areas and others as we increase global production capacity and build our presence in new markets.”

The report also highlighted the credentials of metal packaging – claiming that if the entire fruit and vegetable supply in the United States was canned, rather than packaged for refrigeration or freezing, an estimated seven million metric tons of food would be saved – equivalent to about 22 million metric tons of CO2.

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Reaching packaging machinery sustainability goals


Richard Pether, director of Rotech – designer and manufacturer of offline advanced carton feeding systems – reflects on the role that sustainability plays in the packaging machinery market and innovative ways in which manufacturers can switch to more resource efficient solutions that respect and value the environment.

These days sustainable manufacturing is taking centre stage, driven by both the market and regulation. In the recent Lloyds Bank Global Ambitions report on the food and drink industry (2015)* 36% of respondents believe that sustainability will prove the most significant issue for the sector. What’s more, the survey reveals that 50% plan to work in partnership with their supply chain to strengthen innovation in research and development.

Even so, some companies are convinced that ploughing more efforts into sustainability could erode their competitiveness. They believe it will add to costs and will not deliver immediate financial benefits. However, that’s simply not the case. In Rotech’s experience, sustainability does yield bottom line and top line returns by enabling manufacturers to go after new lines of business.

As a process, packaging is largely driven by retailers. Although these retailers aren’t the end users of packaging machinery, the supply chain comprises many interdependencies and it is the retailers that have the market pull. Yet they look to manufacturers for the technology push. This is where machinery suppliers can assist FMCG manufacturers, providing efficient automation equipment to reduce carbon footprint, conserve resources and minimise waste.

With the economy strengthening and higher consumer disposable income, demand for packing in a variety of formats continues to rise. For the green champions, this might create some backlash with regard to waste. However, in terms of landfill, it’s not the packing containers, but usually the things inside that have a far greater environmental impact. Providing the most appropriate packaging is chosen it can actual prevent waste providing a protective barrier during transportation.

For manufacturers, the sheer volume of packaging formats means that machinery needs to be adaptable and this too spurs growth.

Coding packaging before filling is one area where Rotech customers are increasingly moving towards as a result of small to medium order volumes. This is especially prevalent in stand up doy style pouches, as by coding pouches offline before they are filled, they can be brought to the
production line ready printed. This offers considerable quality advantages as coding the pouch in its flat form results in a consistently clear, perfectly positioned code, thus helping to minimise waste.

The trend to code offline is not just limited to primary packaging packs but secondary too. With shelf ready packaging on the rise, the ability to mark-up secondary packaging offline meets a growing need in today’s grocery market. The emerging retail channels of discount, convenience and online will account for all the growth over the next 10 years as conventional supermarkets decline**. For many food operators, it’s resulting in more complex logistic operations with demand for mixed cases and little-and-often deliveries to a wider range of locations growing.

The new RF-Box Feeder enables the fast, efficient feeding of secondary packaging such as flat boxes and cartons into and out of labelling and coding systems. This offline, stack-to-stack feeder enables users to pre-mark flat cases prior to erection and filling with customised data such as promotional messaging or special pricing. Rates vary depending on the box length and chosen marking technology, but typically range from 50 to 150 boxes per minute.

Deploying offline technologies like these also gives manufacturers greater control over stock levels. Less warehouse stock holdings not only cuts storage space, but also means there is less inventory to manage and reduces the spoiling of perishable goods.

Another growth market is display packaging. Sophisticated shapes are being developed In order to lure consumers. Whilst these new designs add shelf appeal, they do cause coding headaches for factory and equipment engineers. Tasked with figuring out the machine practicalities, engineers are balancing the legal requirements, ensuring clear and correct presentation of batch codes, use by dates and traceability codes with keeping both the brand marketers and retailers happy.

From a coding technology point of view, acting sustainably is crucial but of equal importance is overall cost of ownership. With the latest thermal inkjet, nasty solvents typically associated with continuous inkjet printers are eliminated and energy savings are made as the printer only runs as and when needed.

Being more sustainable is clearly more than just a watchword. Like many, our view is operational innovations, especially automation, have a key role to play in addressing the future packaging agenda. However, it is more than just environmental stewardship. From a machinery perspective, sustainability is about quality, optimizing the lifespan of your equipment (consequently boosting ROI), uncovering the most resource efficient path and introducing processes that will enable you to respond faster to new market demands.

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Barry Callebaut First to Collaborate with Rainforest Alliance to Train Cocoa Farmers in Cameroon


Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate, has begun training members of five farmer cooperatives in the Central region of Cameroon to enable them to become independently certified by Rainforest Alliance. Approximately 1,000 farmers will receive training in the next 12 months. This is an extension of the already successful collaboration between Barry Callebaut and the prominent independent certification body that began in Ivory Coast in 2010.

“We see a great opportunity to start work with farmer organizations and producers inCameroonwho are interested in improving yields and quality by growing cocoa in a sustainable way,” says Nicholas Camu, group manager of Cocoa Horizons. “It’s the first time these farmer groups are taking a serious look at the potential benefits of training to achieve certification. We’re proud to be collaborating with the Rainforest Alliance to help enable these pioneering cooperatives reach their ambitious sustainability goals.”

Cocoa Horizons is Barry Callebaut’s ambitious SFr40 million (Eur33 million) cocoa sustainability initiative, launched in March 2012 and designed to boost farm productivity, increase quality and improve family livelihoods in key cocoa producing countries in West and Central Africa, Indonesia and Brazil over the next 10 years.

Barry Callebaut staff in Cameroon will deliver the training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and provide support in setting up internal control systems and improving administrative procedures at the cooperatives, with support of the Rainforest Alliance.

The certification training activities build on the success of Barry Callebaut’s own Quality Partner Program (QPP) with farmer cooperatives, started in Ivory Coast in 2005 and launched in Cameroon in 2010.

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FrieslandCampina Improves Sustainability Worldwide


In 2011, Royal FrieslandCampina took important steps worldwide to improve the sustainability of the business in the 26 countries where the company is active and in the co-operative’s 14,400 dairy farms in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The sustainability programme is one of the pillars of FrieslandCampina’s route2020 strategy that is aimed at growth and value creation.

Cees ’t Hart, chief executive of Royal FrieslandCampina, comments: “There will be an increased need for nutritionally rich food in the future. Milk and dairy can play an important role here provided, of course, that we focus our efforts on further reducing the environmental consequences of our chain. These include greenhouse gasses, water and energy consumption and the deterioration of biodiversity.”

The year 2011 centred on the creation of a support base among member dairy farmers who not only contributed to but agreed to the development of the ambitious programme for sustainable dairy farming.

Among the targets for 2020 are a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gasses, cutting the use of antibiotics to the 1999 level, 100 per cent sustainable use of soy in cattle feed from 2014 and maintaining the current level of outdoor grazing. In addition to support through training, FrieslandCampina stimulates outdoor grazing by allocating Eur45 million annually for this purpose. Dairy farmers whose cattle graze for a minimum of six hours a day, 120 days a year receive Eur0.50 per 100 kilos of milk. In the spring of 2012, not only was Campina milk from pasture-fed cows available in shops but also Milner cheese, Vifit and Optimel made using pasture-fed milk.

In 2011, the organisation took important follow-up steps in the sustainable procurement of raw materials such as soy (meal) for cattle feed, palm oil, cocoa and FSC-certified packaging materials. FrieslandCampina received the Product Board CSR Award for its sustainable palm oil purchasing policy and for Appelsientje it received the FSC prize for the use of sustainable packaging material. This was achieved thanks to close cooperation with suppliers and clients in the area of sustainability. ISO 26000 certification was also obtained for corporate social responsibility.

Steps were taken locally too, including initial efforts to reduce the sugar, salt and fat content of products. Many FrieslandCampina products are available in a light variety. The development of uniform labelling was yet another such step. The new labelling standard will be completed in 2012.

In co-operation with a number of renowned research institutes, a study of nutritional habits was launched in Southeast Asia under the name SEANUTS. The results will be presented in the autumn of 2012. In Thailand, a dairy publicity campaign was also initiated whereby health teams visited 1,700 locations with more than 500,000 visitors. Another 1,600 events are being organised at schools.

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Diageo Tops Food and Beverage Sector in FTSE4GOOD Index


Diageo has further strengthened its sustainability credentials by topping the food and beverage sector in the FTSE4GOOD index 2012. The index, which is designed to objectively measure the performance of companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards, saw Diageo’s score of 4.8 out of 5 beat a prestigious group of companies from the food and beverage sector including Unilever, Coca-Cola, Heineken and Nestle. Diageo was also jointly named as the leadingUKcompany in the overall rankings and placed joint second globally behind Vivendi.

Carolyn Panzer, director of corporate social responsibility at Diageo, comments: “This recognition by the investment community reflects the clear progress Diageo has made with our sustainability and responsibility strategy. Initiatives such as our Water for Life Programme in Africa, which works to extend access to clean water for 1 million new people in Africa every year to 2015, Learning for Life which has trained approximately 60,000 students with employment skills in Latin America, and Champions for change which supports social entrepreneurship in Asia, are a key examples of how we are working to embed sustainability at the heart of the business.”

Diageo has also committed to a set of ambitious environmental targets for 2015 including improving water efficiency by 30%, reducing water wasted at water stressed sites by 50%, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 50%, eliminating waste sent to landfill, reducing the polluting power of wastewater by 60% and making all its packaging 100% recyclable.

To compile the FTSE4GOOD index, FTSE looks into a company’s corporate responsibility performance. The analysis covers environmental indicators such as climate change and environmental management; social indicators such as human and labour rights and supply chain labour standards as well as governance (countering bribery, corporate governance).

Now in its 11th year, FTSE4GOOD was launched in 2001 and tracks over 2,300 public companies. The selection criteria for the index reflect a broad consensus on what constitutes good corporate responsibility practice globally. Using a widespread market consultation process, the criteria are regularly revised to ensure that they continue to reflect standards of responsible business practice, and developments in socially responsible investment as they evolve.

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Encouraging Greater Use of Sustainable Palm Oil


Dating back to the eighties, growing consumer concerns about health and diet have driven increased use of palm oil as an ingredient by European food manufacturers. Environmental issues have been fueling demand for palm oil sourced from certifiably sustainable sources.

Made from crushing palm fruits, palm oil is an edible vegetable oil used mainly for food applications. Palm oil and its fractions (such as olein and stearin) are used as cooking oil and as an ingredient for margarine, shortening, vanaspati/ghee, frying fat and cocoa butter equivalents. Palm kernel oil is used for both food and non-food purposes but primarily as a specialty fat used in applications including confectionery and coating fats. Palm oil is also used in non-food items like soap and cosmetics.

Advantages of Palm Oil

Because of its functionality, palm oil offers major benefits for food manufacturers. Palm oil provides structure and texture to many food products, and has good oxidative stability. For both these reasons it can be used in many solid fat formulations without the need for partial hydrogenation (hardening), thus providing a virtually trans free solution.

Total palm consumption in Europe is about 6 million tones. Total CSPO sales in 2011 were 2.5 million tones with the majority going to Europe.

Fuelled by growing consumer demand for natural ingredients and concern over trans fats, palm oil and its fractions have grown in popularity within the European and global food manufacturing industry.

A further advantage is that palm oil is the most efficient vegetable oil crop, with the highest yield per hectare, which makes it a relatively cheap vegetable oil. As an all-year round crop, palm oil is not reliant on single crop seasons, which helps maintain a high level of availability and its price attractiveness to food manufacturers.

“Palm oil is a very important ingredient because of its functional characteristics and versatility of application but also from an economic perspective. Palm oil is now used in almost 50% of the products in supermarkets, which also includes non-food items,” explains Caroline Sikking, sustainability manager of Cargill Refined Oils Europe. “At Cargill, we see continued strong global demand for palm oil and a strong interest in sustainable RSPO certified palm oil although take-up is not yet at the same levels as available certified volumes.”

Leading Role For Cargill

As one of the major suppliers of palm oil and palm kernel products, including stearin and olein and many different blends, to the European market, Cargill is playing an influential role in encouraging greater usage of sustainable palm oil. Cargill operates palm oil refineries in The Netherlands, Germanyand Belgium, which buy, refine, process, and market palm oil products to customers. The crude palm oil is sourced from Cargill’s own plantations as well as from other plantations and traders. Outside of Europe Cargill has refineries in the US, Malaysia and India.

Cargill has been a supporter of sustainable palm production for many years through its membership of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and its drive to support sustainable palm in its own operations. Cargill is also working with customers to help them understand the RSPO requirements to enable them to make the best choice to meet their business needs.

Sustainability Commitments

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important issue to consumers. This is reflected in the growing number of European and global food manufacturers committing to source and use RSPO certified palm oil.

Caroline Sikking, sustainability manager of Cargill Refined Oils Europe.

“Cargill believes palm oil should be produced sustainably and we are committed to working towards sustainable palm oil production,” says Caroline Sikking. “We fully support the RSPO process, which has developed principles and criteria and certification procedures to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil throughout the supply chain.”

She continues: “Cargill wants to play a leading role in working towards sustainable palm oil supply and use through the RSPO, and through our own actions. As such we have committed that the palm oil products supplied to our customers (excluding palm kernel oil products) in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be RSPO certified and/or originated from smallholder growers by 2015. This commitment will be extended across all our oil and trading businesses to cover 100% of our palm oil products and all customers worldwide – including China and India – by 2020. We are also encouraging our third party suppliers to join RSPO and become certified, and it is our hope that all oil palm plantations become RSPO-certified.”

Customer-focused

Cargill is currently supplying food manufacturers with RSPO certified palm oil. This includes offering customers the option to utilise all the physical chain of custody trading models authorised by the RSPO (‘segregation’ and ‘mass-balance’) and also offering customers certificates depending on their preferences.

Cargill has been a supporter of sustainable palm production for many years.

“We’re already working with customers to understand their current and their future needs so we can find the best approach to provide them with RSPO certification and to make their supply chains more sustainable and enable them to incorporate sustainable ingredients in their products,” she explains. “We are also encouraging our third party suppliers to become RSPO members and become certified.”

As a vertically integrated palm oil producer and supplier, Cargill is well placed to encourage stakeholders within the supply chain to adopt sustainable practices. However, transition to a fully certified sustainable supply chain will take time.

“The key food manufacturers are focusing on their own development plans with regard to sustainable palm oil. There is a large volume of certified palm oil available but that is, of course, crude palm oil. To further process the crude oil requires a ‘segregated’ approach or a ‘mass balance’ approach, which is a very good intermediate step,” she remarks.

Adopting a mass balance approach, where a proportion of sustainable palm oil is mixed with classic palm oil, makes it more difficult for food manufacturers to communicate their ‘green’ credentials to consumers, although it allows for a mixed claim and use of the RSPO trademark.

Co-operation Within the Supply Chain

“Of course, if we can increase demand and increase the volumes of crude sustainable palm oil to the European market, then obviously we will be able to convert complete refineries. But we are not at that stage yet,” she adds. “What many food manufacturers want is to have segregated palm oil available. While that is feasible for straight refined palm oil it is not possible for all the different products derived from palm and/or palm kernel. We can only achieve that transformation by working together within the whole supply chain – growers, refiners, traders and food manufacturers.”

In addition to palm oil, Cargill is also supporting and encouraging sustainable production in other areas of its supply chain including cocoa, soy, sugar, beef and cotton.

As one of the major suppliers of palm oil and palm kernel products to the European market, Cargill is playing an influential role in encouraging greater usage of sustainable palm oil.

“We are putting in place our own actions to encourage the adoption of better agricultural and environmental practices, promote better and safer labour practice and support improvements to farming communities,” points out Caroline Sikking. “We recognise we cannot do this alone and that’s why we are working through direct partnerships – and multi-stakeholder groups like the RSPO – with governments, NGOs, industry partners and local communities to find sustainable ways to tackle key issues.”

New Product Development

An example of Cargill’s endeavors in this respect is the group’s cocoa and chocolate business’s newly launched range of sustainable coatings and fillings for the European market, offering UTZ Certified cocoa powder and RSPO certified palm and palm kernel products. “It’s another step in Cargill’s ambition to continue to bring sustainable products to market,” she says.

Cargill specialises in helping food and beverage manufacturers drive growth through new product innovation, increasing supply chain efficiency, optimising product formulation and managing commodity price risk. Another recent introduction is TasteWise™, Cargill’s new revolutionary solution that enables manufacturers to deliver better tasting reduced calorie beverages to customers. TasteWise™ is the culmination of years of scientific research and features a new way to optimise taste by better balancing texture, flavour and sweetness. TasteWise™ also features Cargill’s Truvia® stevia leaf extract, which is attracting high consumer interest.

“Both new products illustrate how Cargill is uniquely positioned to work from a holistic perspective and help its customers successfully deliver great-tasting products,” Caroline Sikking concludes.

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Donegal Catch Supports Irish Fishing Industry With Responsible Irish Fish Partnership


Donegal Catch, Ireland’s number one frozen fish brand, has entered a partnership with Responsible Irish Fish, a group dedicated to developing a brand and label to allow Irish fishermen differentiate their products in the market place and to promote Irish fish being caught in a responsible manner. Donegal Catch is also expanding into the chilled category with the launch of its new Fish Creations range, of which the RIF label will appear on the Irish caught species (haddock, plaice and whiting) of the range.

Olivia Kearney, Donegal Catch brand manager, remarks: “Donegal Catch is proud to be supporting Responsible Irish Fish and will feature theRIF label on the Irish caught species of both the new chilled and existing frozen range, so consumers can easily identify these packs. Where possible, we source our fish in accordance with best practices to ensure the long- term viability of fish supplies in the Irish catching sector that in turn supports jobs and industry. We also feel that it is important for Irish consumers to eat more Irish species and to realise that they are supporting and protecting jobs in the Irish catching sector.”

Frank Fleming, founder of Responsible Irish Fish, comments: “Companies like Donegal Catch play an important role in the sustainability of the Irish fishing sector. The RIF label allows consumers to have confidence in the origins of the seafood that they are eating and comfort in the fact that it has been caught responsibly. We are delighted with the opportunity to be aligned and supported by a reputable quality brand like Donegal Catch.”

Research has shown that there is a growing importance, from 55% in 2007 to 73% in 2011, for consumers to buy local produce when food shopping. Donegal Catch is well placed to take advantage of this growing trend as the largest purchaser and processor of whitefish in Ireland, distinguishing itself from the competition by ensuring its haddock, whiting and plaice are Irish.

Donegal Catch has identified a demand in the market for chilled, freshly pre-packed products. Research carried out by Donegal Catch found that consumers want a range that delivers on taste, limits preparation time and is convenient to cook. Expansion into the chilled market which is worth over Eur100 million, represents an important advancement for Donegal Catch that already has a valued and trusted reputation within the frozen category.

Olivia Kearney adds: “Our research found that consumers felt daunted by the chilled category and that they needed the know-how to cook fish recipes from scratch. We felt there is a great opportunity to bring Donegal Catch, a trusted and loved brand, into this space.”

Donegal Catch is part of the Green Isle Group, which is now owned by 2 Sisters Food Group. Green Isle currently employs 750 staff of which 68 are directly employed in the fish business that operates out of Gurteen,CountySligo. Turnover for the fish business rose 5% to Eur30million for the fish business in 2011. About 30% of Donegal Catch’s fish business comes from haddock, whiting and plaice – all Irish caught species.

The main aims of the Responsible Irish Fish group behind the label are:

* to assist vessel owners achieve certification for their fish/shellfish

* to develop a brand to allow Irish fishermen differentiate their products in the market place to promote Irish fish caught in a responsible manner.

The development of an Environmental Management System by BIM, with the fishing industry, forms the basis for the new label. The EMS system can be used as a stepping stone to various forms of certification depending on the fishery a vessel is involved in.

The system implemented by the vessels is based on three main pillars:

* quality (ensuring good practice during handling and storage of the catch),

* provenance (the fish/shellfish sold under the label is fully traceable back to an Irish vessel),

* responsibility (environmental responsibility).

The Responsible Irish Fish group aims to stabilise jobs at the vessel level and to create new jobs in the processing sector by encouraging more demand for Irish caught and Irish processed seafood.

 

CAPTION:

Pictured are: Frank Fleming, founder of Responsible Irish Fish; Jamie Granger, age 5; and Tom Cronin, head of marketing at Donegal Catch.

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Morrisons to Move into Seafood Processing


Morrisons plans to launch its own seafood processing business to deliver quality fish into its stores. The company will be acquiring an empty factory in Grimsby and equipping it for seafood production by the end of 2012. As a result, Morrisons will be the only major food retailer to source fish direct from the quayside and process it for sale across the country.

The move represents a further step in Morrisons’ strategy of manufacturing more of the fresh food that is sold in its stores. By developing this business, the company will be in an enhanced position to deliver quality fresh and frozen seafood more quickly into store – and at an affordable price for shoppers. Around 200 jobs will be created at the Europa Business Park factory in Grimsby which will fillet and portion a wide variety of seafood.

Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons, comments: “Nobody else is buying direct from the quayside but we’re doing it. Building this seafood business will allow us to move our fish from ‘catch to kitchen’ even more quickly, giving our customers fantastic quality seafood products at stunning prices.”

Morrisons has recruited industry experts to lead the business such as Frank Green, who was appointed head of seafood trading for Morrisons in January and was previously at Young’s. The factory inGrimsbywill be run by Howard Sims, as managing director, and Rob Smith as head of operations. Morrisons will also shortly appoint a fisheries and aquaculture specialist to further develop their credentials in sourcing and sustainability.

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Double Digit UK Growth For Fairtrade Products


Estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in the UK reached £1.32 billion in 2011, a 12% increase on sales of £1.17 billion in 2010. Cocoa and sugar have all seen significant growth with increases respectively of 34% and 21% over 2010. Bananas, coffee, tea are all showing steady growth. Critically, this means that Fairtrade Premiums, the extra that producers receive for business or social development, increased by over 10% in 2011 compared with 2010.

The sugar and confectionery industry is leading the way as businesses are stepping up more than ever to meet sustainability challenges, and deliver a better deal for small-scale farmers and workers, and enable them to take their own steps towards a better future.

“Fairtrade is an example of responsible capitalism in action. We believe that responsible businesses are those who don’t just tackle the company bonuses at the top – but take steps to ensure a fairer deal for the workers and farmers at the bottom of the supply chain too,” says Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation. “The commercial reality is that forward-thinking companies are showing leadership in committing to Fairtrade, realising that, as well as it being the right thing to do, they need to invest in smallholders, developing better, longer-term relationships, to ensure the future supply of commodities like cocoa, coffee, sugar, tea, fruit and more.”

For instance,  Fairtrade’s share of the UK retail bagged sugar market is about to increase to 42%. Morrisons supermarket is converting its entire range of sugar to Fairtrade, supplied by Tate & Lyle Sugars. This newest move by Morrisons builds on existing commitments to Fairtrade sugar by Tate & Lyle, which became the first major retail brand to convert to Fairtrade in 2008, as well as retailers The Co-operative, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and their major suppliers. The ambition is to get to 50% of retail market share.

Brand manufacturers have also committed to Fairtrade sugar – like pioneering chocolate company Divine Chocolate and the nation’s favourite chocolate treats, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Kit Kat four-finger, with Maltesers also switching later this year. And ice-cream companies are also using Fairtrade sugar – like Ben & Jerry’s which has been rolling out a plan to convert all its ice-cream to Fairtrade this year. Many cafe and restaurant chains, and catering suppliers again use Fairtrade sugar, with commitments from Sodexo, Aramark and Compass. The Fairtrade campaign will receive another boost in the summer through the Food Vision for the London 2012 Games, which includes a commitment for caterers to use Fairtrade sugar across all venues.

While sugar is one of the most valuable globally traded agricultural commodities, above coffee and cocoa, too many sugar cane producers remain in dire poverty and sugar production in many parts of the world is becoming unsustainable because of lack of investment in farming methods and support for farming communities. With impending EU sugar reforms looming which will jeopardise access to European markets for some of the world’s poorest sugar producing countries, poverty in sugar growing communities is threatening to increase. The phenomenal growth in Fairtrade in recent years has had a significant impact in helping farmers deal with the challenges they face, and is likely to mitigate some of the worst effects of the EU sugar reforms. Research on Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), which supplies Tate & Lyle, and Kasinthula Cane Growers Association (KCG) in Malawi, which also supplies the UK Fairtrade sugar market, shows Fairtrade is one of the strongest tools available to farmers, leading to: improved productivity, better environmental management, and social benefits through premiums.

 

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Arla Foods UK Achieves Zero Waste to Landfill


Arla Foods is the first major dairy company in the UK to achieve zero waste to landfill throughout the entire UK business, including all its sites. Through maximising recycling, the company has taken another step towards reaching its environmental targets and achieving its ‘Closer to Nature’ ambition.

With over 90 per cent of site waste being recycled, Arla now has no waste going directly to landfill. The remaining waste is either recovered or will be processed into a high grade refuse derived fuel (RDF) – a pulverised waste that can be used to produce energy.

The achievement is a big step towards helping Arla reach its goal of reducing its carbon impact by 34 per cent by 2020. It was also a key target in the company’s wider environmental strategy, launched in 2011, which addresses the whole supply chain – from farm through to consumer.

“Colleagues across all our sites are very aware of the company’s sustainability responsibilities, and have been working hard to help us reduce our environmental impact,” comments Lars Dalsgaard, business group director of supply chain at Arla Foods UK. “As a company, we’ve made a commitment globally to become the Closer to Nature dairy company, and in 2012 we will continue to concentrate on finding new, innovative methods to reduce our carbon footprint even further.”

Richard Laxton, sustainability manager at Arla Foods UK, adds: “In addition to reducing waste at our sites, we also contribute surplus product to the FareShare scheme. Also, food waste from our dairies and distribution centres is also used to generate biogas and green electricity at off-site anaerobic digestion plants.”

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New Unilever Plant Sets Global Sustainability Standards


Unilever’s R670 million (Eur61 million), state-of-the-art savoury foods plant in Durban is setting new global standards in responsible and sustainable dry food production. It as one of the largest private investments in South Africa since the 2010 World Cup. The new plant is named Indonsa, meaning “Morning Star” in IsiZulu, and produces renowned brands such as Knorr, Robertson’s, Knorrox, Aromat and Rajah. It is in start-up phase and will be in full production by the first quarter of 2012.

 

The Indonsa plant has the ability to become the biggest dry food site in Unilever world-wide. It has been designed to produce 65 000 tonnes of product per year and has an expansion capability of up to 100 000 tonnes. The 22 000 square metre factory is equivalent to three soccer fields and is situated on 78 000 square metres of land.

 

Indonsa is a global first for the group in terms of advancing its focus on advanced sustainable ‘green’ technology. It is Unilever’s second largest plant in the world and its fifth plant in South Africa. Globally Unilever operates 250 plants selling about 170 billion products in 180 countries annually.

 

The global Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) and local chapter, aim to reduce the environmental impact of its entire products by 50%, source 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably, and assist a billion people to improve their wellbeing and general health. Indonsa is an example of the USLP delivered in practice.

 

“The advanced technology in operation at Indonsa sets new global standards in responsible and sustainable dry food production. It embodies our resolve to simultaneously improve the lives of people and to entrench respect for the environment,” says chairman for Unilever South Africa, Marijn van Tiggelen.

 

Unilever aims to globally reduce CO2 emissions from manufacturing and logistics by over 40% by 2020 from its 1995 baseline, at a rate of almost 5% a year.

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FrieslandCampina and Unilever Commence Sustainable Dairy Ingredients Project


FrieslandCampina and Unilever have joined forces in a project that will boost the availability of sustainable dairy ingredients. Key elements of this project are animal welfare, energy use, waste management and reduction of the carbon footprint. This year, a total of twelve farms operated by FrieslandCampina member farmers have been assessed against Unilever’s criteria and another 118 farms will be assessed before the end of March 2012. This will allow Unilever to buy sustainable dairy ingredients from FrieslandCampina before the end of next year.

 

Dirk-Jan de With, vice-president procurement global food ingredients of Unilever, explains: “We are always looking for ways of working with our suppliers to drive sustainability in our supply chain. Within the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan we are committed to source all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020. As dairy is one of our top ten raw materials we are pleased to work together with FrieslandCampina on sustainable dairy.”

 

Independent auditor, Control Union, is supporting the technical process, gap analysis and assessments. Based on the outcome of the first assessments, Control Union has made recommendations and improvement plans in order to fully embed the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code. These recommendations will be incorporated during 2012. The farms included in the project will carry out a self assessment each year.

 

Roelof Joosten, executive director ingredients of Royal FrieslandCampina, says: “We are glad that at FrieslandCampina we are already able to fulfill the Unilever criteria on sustainability. This is an opportunity to reduce the total eco footprint in the entire production chain.”

 

FrieslandCampina announced in its corporate strategy, route2020, that it was aiming for climate-neutral growth between 2010 and 2020. To achieve this, it is working closely with the member farmers of its dairy co-operative to devise a standard for sustainable dairy farming.

 

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Coca-Cola Hellenic in Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes For 4th Consecutive Year


Coca-Cola Hellenic, one of the world’s largest bottlers of products of The Coca-Cola Company, has been included for the fourth consecutive year in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI), the premier global sustainability benchmark. The DJSI are based on an analysis of the economic, environmental and social performance of the world’s 2,500 largest companies measured by free-floating market capitalisation. Only the top 10% achieve inclusion after assessment of a range of general and industry-specific issues including climate change mitigation, supply chain standards and labour practices.

 

Coca-Cola Hellenic is one of only three beverage companies worldwide to merit a place on the DJSI World index, and one of just two to make it into the DJSI Europe index. It is also the only Greek company included in either index. In the assessment process, Coca-Cola Hellenic received top scores for the beverage industry in nine assessment categories including perfect marks in two – Environmental Policy/Management Systems and Packaging.

 

Dimitris Lois, chief executive of Coca-Cola Hellenic, says: “Gaining inclusion in the Indexes is an achievement on its own. Maintaining our position for four years requires continual improvement, which is the focus of our long-running Towards Sustainability programme. We know we will need to demonstrate further progress to be included next year and we are determined to do exactly that.” Coca-Cola Hellenic’s overall score improved year-on-year from 72% to 77%.

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Nestle Achieves Zero Waste at UK Factory


Nestle marked another milestone in its commitment to environmental sustainability by achieving zero waste to landfill at its Kit Kat and Aero confectionery factory at York in the UK. In 2009, Nestle UK set an ambitious target to achieve zero total waste by 2015 for all of its 14 factories in the UK and Ireland.

This latest accomplishment is also in line with group strategy to reduce the environmental impact of Nestle’s 443 factories worldwide.

By achieving zero waste, the York factory – which makes over a billion of the Kit Kat chocolate wafer bars and 183 million Aero chocolate bars each year – has saved over SFr160,000 (nearly £120,000) a year. Such savings were made due to removing landfill tax costs and reducing the number of skip lifts used by 70%.

Nestle UK has also generated extra revenue by selling nearly 800 tonnes of leftover materials such as cardboard, plastics, metal, pallets and metallised film.

“At Nestle we are committed to manufacturing and doing business in a way that protects the planet and its resources for future generations and helps our local communities thrive,” says Paul Grimwood, chairman and chief executive of Nestle UK & Ireland. “Making such progress in reducing the amount of waste our factories send to landfill, how much water we use and packaging we produce are significant steps. I am very proud of what our employees have achieved in such a short time.”

The company’s Girvan factory in Scotland, which manufactures chocolate crumb, a key ingredient used in Nestle’s confectionery chocolate brands, and its Nescafe Cappuccino factory in Dalston in the UK, both achieved zero waste last year.

Nestle has also continued to lead initiatives and innovative projects to reduce waste and advance environmental sustainability across its operations around the world. For example, a total of 21 factories utilise unused coffee grounds as a renewable energy source.

One of the most recent sites to implement this practice is the Cagayan de Oro Nescafe factory in the Philippines which uses a state-of-the-art boiler to recycle and burn unused coffee grounds, sawdust and coconut shells. The factory also has a solid waste management programme and communal eco-garden which sells recyclable materials made from household waste and organic fertiliser made from biodegradable waste.

Further illustrating the company’s aim to reduce waste and cut down the amount of water it uses, around 70% of Nestle’s rurally located factories in developing countries have a built-in water treatment plant.

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Sustainably Farmed Seafood Holds Key to Future Global Food Security


The first-ever global assessment of the environmental costs of aquaculture shows that farmed seafood is less ecologically damaging than livestock production, and that there is great potential for improvements in efficiency.

A new and comprehensive analysis released by WorldFish Center and Conservation International (CI) has investigated the environmental impact of the world’s major aquaculture production systems and species, and offers a first-ever global assessment of trends and impacts of cultivated seafood. The analysis has found that, from the 75 species-production systems reviewed, more production means more ecological impact, but that compared to other forms of animal protein production such as livestock, aquaculture is more efficient.

The report, ‘Blue Frontiers: Managing the environmental costs of aquaculture’, along with a companion policy recommendations paper, concludes that the demand for aquaculture products will continue to grow over the next two decades as a key source of animal protein for growing urban populations, and that the industry needs to meet this demand with improved efficiencies and reduced environmental impacts.

Among the landmark report’s major findings are two key highlights: (1) the environmental impact of aquaculture varies dramatically by country, region, production system and species , and (2) a review of published information found that aquaculture is more efficient and less damaging to the environment, compared to other animal protein production systems such as beef and pork, and is likely to be among the most important sources of protein for human health and nutrition in growing urban populations in many parts of the developing world. The report also highlights that there is great room for improvement, by identifying and sharing best practices, increasing investment in innovation, and strengthening policies and regulations.

$100+ Billion Industry

Driving the scientists’ research was the recognition of aquaculture as one of the fastest growing food production sectors in the world. It has grown at an average annual rate of 8.4% since 1970 and total production reached 65.8 million tonnes in 2008 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Today, aquaculture is a $100+ billion industry that now provides more than half of all seafood consumed in the world, surpassing wild-caught seafood.

Using all available data from 2008, the study compared aquaculture’s global demands across a wide variety of species groups (13), geographies (18 countries), feed types (5) and numerous production systems in use today, allowing scientists to compare and contrast 75 different types of species-production systems, to determine their environmental impacts on acidification, climate change, energy demand, land-use demand, and other ecological factors.

Findings

Following almost two years of data gathering and analysis, researchers found that:

* China and the rest of Asia collectively supply an overwhelming majority of the world’s cultivated seafood, at 91% of global supply. China alone accounts for 64% of global production.

* On the other end of the supply chain, Europe produces 4.4%, South America produces 2.7%, South American produces 1.9%, and Africa produces 1.6%.

* Most popular aquaculture by country: carp tops the list for China and the rest of Asia; salmon is number one for Europe and Latin America, finfish (tilapias) rank highest in African aquaculture.

* Aquaculture with the highest environmental impact include: eel, salmon, and shrimps & prawns, due to significant energy and fish feeds required for production – these represent greatest opportunities for improvement.

* Aquaculture with the lowest/least environmental impact include: bivalves (mussels and oysters), mollusks, seaweed (those toward the bottom of the food chain; don’t require additional feed).

* Efficiency of salmon production methods: while salmon production trends toward the high end of the environmental impact scale due to the use of wildfish for feed, production methods in northern Europe, Canada and Chile were found to be more efficient than those in China and other Asian countries (in terms of acidification, climate change, energy demand and land occupation).

* Efficiency of shrimp and prawn production methods: cultivation in China was found to be much less efficient than other producer countries (e.g. Thailand) in terms of acidification, climate change and energy demand.

* Aquaculture vs wild-caught fisheries: aquaculture today accounts for a significant majority of all consumed seaweeds (99%), carps (90%), and salmon (73%), and also delivers half (50%) of the total global supply of tilapia, catfish, mollusks, crabs and lobsters.

Looking toward the future of seafood cultivation, ‘Blue Frontiers’ projects that global aquaculture production will continue to grow at current rates, with conservative estimates of 65-85 million tones produced in 2020, and 79-110 million tones by 2030. By comparison, 69 million tonnes of cultivated seafood were produced in 2008.

“China, India and the rest of Asia with their growing middle classes are where we can expect demand for fish to rise most significantly,” says co-author Mike Phillips, a senior scientist at WorldFish. “Current trends indicate that the majority of the increase in global production will come from South and Southeast Asia, with a continued drive by major producer counties such as China and Vietnam towards export to European and North American markets.”

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Greener Future For Wiseman Farmers


Dairy farmers who supply Robert Wiseman Dairies are being offered expert help to reduce their energy costs and improve their carbon footprint. All members of the Wiseman Milk Group not aligned to a retailer supply group are being given the chance to have an E-C02 carbon and energy audit giving a carbon score for their business and identifying potential savings that could be made by reducing electricity and water usage.

Over 250 members have already taken up the offer of a fully funded audit which allows Wiseman farms to meet the recommendation of the Milk Roadmap for all farms to measure the carbon footprint of their enterprise.

Pete Nicholson, milk procurement director at Robert Wiseman Dairies, comments:

“We take our commitment to ensuring the long term sustainability of the UK dairy industry very seriously. This goes beyond simply reducing the impact of our own operations and looking at the entire supply chain from the cow to the consumer. This project allows us to work with our contracted producers and industry experts to measure and identify opportunities to reduce the environmental impact up to the farm gate.”

Robert Wiseman Dairies procures, processes and distributes almost a third of all fresh milk consumed in Britain, every day. Founded in East Kilbride in 1947 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1994, the company operates seven dairies and 15 distribution depots in Britain, and employs more than 4,800 staff.

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Coca-Cola and Heinz Form Landmark Packaging Partnership


The Coca-Cola Company and HJ Heinz have announced a strategic partnership that enables Heinz to produce its ketchup bottles using Coca-Cola’s breakthrough PlantBottle packaging. The PET plastic bottles are made partially from plants and have a lower reliance on non-renewable resources compared with traditional PET plastic bottles. The partnership is an industry-first, and one that both companies hope others will follow to transform how food is packaged around the world.

PlantBottle packaging looks, feels and functions just like traditional PET plastic, and remains fully recyclable. The only difference is that up to 30% of the material is made from plants. The plant material is produced through an innovative process that turns natural sugars found in plants into a key component for PET plastic. Currently, PlantBottle is made using sugarcane ethanol from Brazil, the only source widely recognised by thought leaders globally for its unique environmental and social performance.

Muhtar Kent (left), chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola, with William Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive of Heinz.

“PlantBottle is revolutionising plastic, and our partnership with Heinz is paving the way for industry-wide collaboration,” says Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola. “This partnership is a great example of how businesses are working together to advance smart technologies that make a difference to our consumers and the planet we all share.”

Heinz’s adoption of the PlantBottle technology will be the biggest change to its iconic ketchup bottles since they first introduced plastic in 1983.

“The partnership of Coca-Cola and Heinz is a model of collaboration in the food and beverage industry that will make a sustainable difference for the planet,” adds William Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive of Heinz.

The launch of PlantBottle is another important step in Heinz’s global sustainability initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste, water consumption and energy usage at least 20% by 2015.

Coca-Cola first launched PlantBottle in 2009 on brands that include Coke, Sprite, Fresca, and Dasani water. By using PlantBottle packaging across multiple brands, the company is able to significantly reduce its dependence on non-renewable resources. An initial life-cycle analysis conducted by Imperial College London showed that the use of PlantBottle packaging provides a 12-19% reduction in carbon impact.

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FrieslandCampina Makes Transition to Sustainably Produced Cardboard Beverage Packaging


Dutch and international dairy co-operative FrieslandCampina is making the transition to sustainably produced cardboard with the Forest Stewardship Council accreditation for all its cardboard beverage packaging in the Benelux. Appelsientje is the first FrieslandCampina brand that will appear in sustainably produced cardboard in shop shelves before the end of this year. The full transition will be completed by the end of 2011. By making this transition FrieslandCampina aims to give further substance to its sustainability policy.

The Forest Stewardship Council accreditation (FSC) gives the assurance that the wood used as raw material for the cardboard is from responsibly managed forests. The FrieslandCampina brands that will appear in sustainably produced cardboard packaging with the FSC accreditation are: Campina, Chocomel, Fristi, Optimel, Vifit, Goedemorgen!, Mona, Friesche Vlag coffee creamer and long-life milk, Zuiver Zuivel, CoolBest, DubbelFrisss and Taksi.

The Tetra Pak cardboard for the Appelsientje packaging originates primarily from carefully managed forests in Scandinavia. Thanks to the FSC, the biodiversity in the forest is left intact while sufficient wood can be harvested. Consumers recognise the sustainably produced packaging in shop shelves by the FSC logo.

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Unilever Unveils Ambitious Sustainability Plan


Unilever has announced plans to decouple its future growth from environmental impact. The food and consumer goods giant has pledged to halve the environmental footprint of its products; help 1 billion people to take action to improve their health and wellbeing, mostly in developing countries, over the next 10 years; and to source 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably.

“We have ambitious plans to grow the company. But growth at any price is not viable. We have to develop new ways of doing business which will ensure that our growth does not come at the expense of the world’s diminishing natural resources,” explains Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan sets out over 50 social, economic and environmental targets. It will see Unilever, whose global brands include Dove, Omo, Knorr and Lipton, halve the greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste used not just by the company in its direct operations, but also by its suppliers and consumers.

Over two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions and half the water used in Unilever products’ lifecycle come from consumer use, so this is a major commitment on an unprecedented scale.

Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever.

“People tell us they want to reduce their environmental impact but find it hard to change their behaviour and don’t know how they can make a difference,” says Paul Polman. “By halving the total carbon, water and waste impact of our products, primarily through innovation in the way we source, make and package them, we can help people make a small difference every time they use them. As our products are used 2 billion times a day in nearly every country in the world, our consumers’ small actions add up to make a big difference.”

Other key goals Unilever plans to achieve by or before 2020 include:

* sourcing 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably including, by 2015, 100% sustainable palm oil;

* changing the hygiene habits of 1 billion people in Asia, Africa and Latin America so that they wash their hands with Lifebuoy soap at key times during the day – helping to reduce diarrhoeal disease, the world’s second biggest cause of infant mortality;

* making safe drinking water available to half a billion people by extending sales of its low-cost in-home water purifier, Pureit, from India to other countries;

* improving livelihoods in developing countries by working with Oxfam, Rainforest Alliance and others to link over 500,000 smallholder farmers and small-scale distributors into its supply chain.

Paul Polman sees no conflict between Unilever achieving its sustainability goals and growing its business. “We are already finding that tackling sustainability challenges provides new opportunities for sustainable growth: it creates preference for our brands, builds business with our retail customers, drives our innovation, grows our markets and, in many cases, generates cost savings.”

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Welsh Dairy Industry Set For Greener Future


Welsh dairy farmers, processors, and retailers have reached an ambitious agreement to further reduce the environmental impact of milk and dairy products. The Welsh dairy industry has published a ‘Dairy Roadmap for Wales’, which clearly sets out targets for reducing the industry’s environmental footprint over the next ten years.

The document builds upon the work already undertaken in England with indicators and targets purposely kept as similar to the England Milk Roadmap as is possible. “Having parallel indicators and targets will assist the industry in measuring the achievements, impact and outcomes of the Roadmaps, although I will stress that Wales’ targets obviously take into account regional differences,” says Delyth Davies, head of dairy development Wales at Dairyco.

The Roadmap sets out practical actions, including medium and long term targets, to deliver a vision for reducing the environmental impacts of the dairy sector without adversely affecting its long-term sustainability.

The Dairy Roadmap for Wales is a ‘living document’ and will be regularly reviewed by stakeholders to include an official review in 2012 and a full report in 2015. Targets for 2020 include:

* farmers will recycle or reuse 70% of non-natural waste

* 40% of energy used on farm comes from renewable sources

* 20-30% reduction in greenhouse gas balance from farms, compared with 1990 levels

* 20% absolute reduction of water use for all processors

* 10% of processors’ non-transport energy to come from renewable sources or Combined Heat & Power/Tri-Generation

* All tertiary packaging to be recyclable or re-usable

* retailers to ensure that all new stores emit less carbon than existing one

* mandatory energy benchmarking for processors.

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Heineken Presented With 2010 World Business and Development Award


Gloabl brewer Heineken has been presented with the 2010 World Business and Development (WBD) Award for its groundbreaking sustainable local supply chain initiative in Sierra Leone. Heineken is one of only ten organisations to receive the 2010 WBD award. According to the members of the International Judging Panel, Heineken impressed by demonstrating a clear link between vital business practices and the contribution of the project towards the Millennium Development Goals.

Heineken’s local sourcing project in Sierra Leone is part of the company’s Africa-wide strategy to procure at least 60% of its raw materials locally. Moreover, the Sierra Leone case has stimulated local entrepreneurship, created hundreds of new jobs for local population and increased smallholder farmers’ incomes significantly, thereby alleviating poverty.

Since 1988, Heineken has been developing its sorghum brewing technology and know-how. The award-winning project in Sierra Leone was established in 2005 with the goal to develop a sustainable local supply chain for Sierra Leone Breweries (SLBL). SLBL trained farmers in good agricultural practices, organised bulking and transport and tested new sorghum varieties for better processing quality and yield. The sustainable local supply chain was established with co-funding of the Common Fund for Commodities, an international institution that specialises in commodity development.

The project has helped local farmers compete against imported grains. It has raised smallholder farmers’ incomes derived from sorghum, which has directly contributed to the alleviation of poverty for this critical group of farmers.

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Northern Ireland Meat Companies Look to Growth in Global Markets


Northern Ireland’s £1.5 billion meat industry must work on strategies that will reduce costs and increase its ability to exploit opportunities that will grow in Europe and other global markets over the next decade. The business opportunities and threats, including rising feed and other costs, as well as consumer trends facing the local industry, which employs over 9,000 people, are highlighted in a major study by GIRA, a leading French consultancy specialising in the global meat industry, commissioned by Invest Northern Ireland in conjunction with the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Commenting on the 117-page study, ‘Long-Term Strategic Trends in World Meat Markets 2010-2012’, Ian Murphy, Invest NI’s managing director of clients and entrepreneurship, says: “This is one of the most significant documents that we have produced because meat processing is vitally important here in terms of the scale of its contribution to the local economy, especially rural communities, in areas such as exports, new product development and, of course, employment. Currently the industry contributes around 50 per cent of the £3 billion earned by food processing here.”

He continues: “Ensuring its long-term growth, therefore, is immensely important to Invest Northern Ireland and, of course, to the wider community. What this study does clearly and concisely is highlight the opportunities, particularly in Europe, and the challenges our companies will face increasingly from global competitors from South America, China and the US and from rising input costs such as feed stuffs and energy, as well as from the sharpening focus, particularly among European consumers, on food safety and sustainability.

“Our companies should draw great encouragement, however, from a number of points in the study. There is good news for our companies in terms of the protection provided against competition in the EU with its agri-food and environmental policies.

The study also highlights new business opportunities especially in poultry, one of Northern Ireland’s strengths, pigmeat and beef and the good reputation Northern Irish companies enjoy with key retailers which are increasingly developing their international presence. What companies must do is to redouble their efforts to ensure efficiency, productivity and overall, exports, innovation in areas such as higher value added products for niche markets, and overall competitiveness. For instance, the report identifies the advantage that companies that guarantee food safety through greater control have over their supply chain globally.

“Our commitment is to continue to work with local companies to enable them to apply the relevant points in the study, to harness the opportunities ahead and to overcome the challenges especially in key areas such as costs,” he adds.

Among the key points in the study is the projected continuing growth in poultry products. Demand for most meat products will be driven by rising populations.

While other meats will also continue to grow in sales, poultry will gain the most market share. Poultry is described as the cheapest and easiest of the farmed meats to produce. Demand in the developing world, especially China, will increase for most meat products.

EU growth will favour ‘cheaper, quicker growing species’ with chicken continuing to win market share.

Forces driving change in the industry are likely to include – increasing animal welfare concerns which would mean higher costs, higher oil prices, currency volatility, rising costs as sustainability grows in importance, and nutrition concerns among consumers and governments.

Production in some regions will be impacted adversely by issues such as water shortage and land degradation.

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Coca-Cola Hellenic Maintains Position as a Global Sustainability Leader


Coca-Cola Hellenic has been recognised for its continuing commitment to embedding Corporate Social Responsibility into its operations across 28 countries by achieving listings on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and the DJSI Europe Index for the third consecutive year. The company is one of only four beverage producers worldwide to be included in the 2010 DJSI World Index, and one of two represented in the DJSI Europe listing. It is the only Greek-based company to be included.

The DJSI indices, updated annually, assess corporate sustainability leadership globally in 57 industry sectors as defined by the Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB). In 2010 more than 2,000 companies worldwide were subjected to a thorough analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, branding, climate change mitigation, supply chain standards and labour practices.

“We are building a company for the future. Sustainable development in every area of our operations is vital,” says Doros Constantinou, chief executive of Coca-Cola Hellenic. “However, we are only too aware that there is no room for complacency, and this being our third consecutive annual listing, generates excitement and a feeling of ‘being’ in our employees which I trust will further strengthen our focus.”

In the DJSI review of the beverage sector, Coca-Cola Hellenic received the top scores in Health & Nutrition, Codes of Conduct/Compliance/Corruption & Bribery, Water-related Risks, Corporate Citizenship and Talent Attraction/Retention.

Coca-Cola Hellenic is one of the world’s largest bottlers of products of The Coca-Cola Company with sales of more than 2 billion unit cases. It has broad geographic reach serving a population of approximately 560 million people.

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Nestle Chief Backs Move for Harsher Climate Change Targets


Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestle, supports the move to drive the European Union to toughen greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. In a signed letter together with 26 business leaders from companies across Europe – published by The Financial Times, Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – EU ministers are urged to push for increased carbon-cutting targets.

The letter is in response to an article published in the same newspapers in which the climate change ministers; Chris Huhne, for the UK, Dr Norbert Rottgen, for Germany and Jean-Louis Borloo for France set out the economic benefits for increasing Europe’s climate change targets for 2020 from 20% to a harsher 30% goal.

Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestle.

The 27 chief executives and chair persons argue: “By moving to a higher target, the EU will have a direct impact on the carbon price through to 2020 and deliver the economic signals that companies need if they are to continue investing billions of Euros in low carbon products, services, technologies and infrastructure.  European leadership will also help rebuild the international momentum towards an ambitious, robust and equitable global deal on climate change.”

The letters concludes: “The EU’s future competitive advantage lies in encouraging and enabling its businesses to help drive the transformational change that will occur in the world economy within the next couple of decades, not to hide from it.”

The letter is an initiative of The University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL) which works with business, government and civil society to help leaders address critical global challenges.

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FrieslandCampina Aims to Achieve Climate-neutral Growth


Dairy multinational Royal FrieslandCampina is aiming to achieve climate-neutral growth throughout the dairy chain over the coming years. Sustainability is a key element of the company’s business strategy.

In its 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, FrieslandCampina outlines its CSR ambitions, policy, related activities and the results achieved in the first year following the merger between Friesland Foods and Campina at the end of 2008.

Cees ’t Hart, chief executive of Royal FrieslandCampina.

FrieslandCampina has defined five sustainability themes in which it can make a tangible contribution to this goal: FrieslandCampina in society, Nutrition & Health, Care for the environment, Dedicated employees and Sustainable agriculture. The policy and programmes it has built around these themes are aimed at contributing to economic progress while restricting the environmental impact of its business operations, offering healthy products, encouraging the development of employees and supporting the local communities in which it is active.

“We are working within the context of our route2020 strategy to achieve climate-neutral growth throughout the dairy chain. We want to do so by working with our member farmers and partners to improve energy efficiency, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and boost the production of renewable energy on our dairy farms. Sustainability is thus a key prerequisite in the realisation of our business strategy,” says Cees ’t Hart, chief executive of Royal FrieslandCampina.

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Unilever Commits to Sustainable Sourcing of Paper Packaging


As part of its sustainability commitment to double the size of its business while reducing its environmental impact, Unilever has announced that it will work with its suppliers to source 75% of its paper and board packaging from sustainably managed forests or from recycled material by 2015, rising to 100% by 2020. The move makes Unilever the first global FMCG company to commit to sourcing all of its paper and board packaging from sustainably managed forests or recycled material within a clearly defined timeframe.

For the company’s requirements for paper from virgin sources, preference will be given to supplies delivered through the Forest Stewardship Council certification scheme. Unilever will also accept other national schemes under the framework of international Forest Management Certification standards.

This means that the logos of the acceptable forest management certification schemes will begin to appear on the packaging of Unilever’s portfolio of brands as progress is made towards reaching the target, and in order to increase consumer awareness and promote the expansion of certified forests in the world.

“As a leading consumer goods company, we buy considerable quantities of paper and board for packaging to ensure our products are protected and transported safely. As such it is important that we promote sustainable forestry practices and help combat deforestation and climate change through the responsible sourcing of these materials,” explains Marc Engel, Unilever’s chief procurement officer.

Unilever is a founding member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, which has over 160 members, including packaging users, producers and retailers. Unilever is also a member of EUROPEN (the European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment), and the Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Packaging Project.

Since 1995, Unilever has reduced its total waste (kg/tonne of production) by 73%.

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Royal Greenland Supports the Development of the ASC Standards


Leading international seafood group Royal Greenland has declared its support for the development of the ASC standards by the Aquaculture Dialogues. The ASC’s mission is to transform aquaculture towards environmental and social sustainability using efficient market mechanisms which create value across the chain.

“We have the responsibility to supply our customers and our consumers with seafood from sustainable sources,” says Bruno Olesen, sales and marketing director of Royal Greenland. “We therefore contribute to the Aquaculture Dialogues’ standard setting process by reviewing and commenting on the Aquaculture Dialogues’ draft standards for shrimp, salmon and freshwater trout. The standard setting process in the Aquaculture Dialogues is probably the most robust, transparent and universal approach involving a large and diverse group of stakeholders.”

Royal Greenland already works with MSC certified fishery products and will work with ASC certified farmed seafood products in order to achieve its objective to provide customers with seafood from environmentally and socially sustainable sources.”

Royal Greenland supplies a wide range of seafood and convenience products to the retail trade and food service industry internationally, and is the world’s largest supplier of cold water prawns. The group operates its own processing facilities in Greenland, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Canada. It also has floating plants on its trawler fleet in Greenland. Royal Greenland has local sales offices in several European countries as well as in Japan and China.

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