SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - EuropeUS edition | Asian edition

News > Business

Read more breaking news

 

 
Exclusive interview

Unilever joins with Solidaridad to tackle sustainable sugar cane challenge

By Nathan Gray+

15-Oct-2013
Last updated on 31-Mar-2014 at 09:59 GMT2014-03-31T09:59:08Z

Sven Sielhorst (left) and Dirk Jan de With (right) announce the partnership between Solidaridad and Unilever at an event in London
Sven Sielhorst (left) and Dirk Jan de With (right) announce the partnership between Solidaridad and Unilever at an event in London
Loading the player...

Food manufacturing giant Unilever will work with international non-profit Solidaridad to drive the sustainable development of the sugar cane industry in Central America.

The initiative forms part of the firm's ongoing work to source 100% of its raw materials from sustainable sources by 2020, within its much wider ambition to double the size of its business, whilst reducing its overall environmental footprint.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will see Unilever and Solidaridad work together on sustainable sugar cane in Central America, with an initial focus on Mexico.

“This is an important collaboration for us on our journey towards sourcing 100% of sugar sustainably by 2020," said Marc Engel, chief procurement officer at Unilever. "We are committed to working with partners and fully support the work that bodies such as Solidaridad and Bonsucro are doing.”

Speaking at the launch of a new Solidaridad campaign titled 'How to change the world with sugarcane', Dirk Jan de With, VP procurement ingredients & sustainability at Unilever said that with two billion consumers using Unilever products every day, the firm has two billion daily opportunities to interact with consumers.

"That's a great opportunity if you want to bring change," said de With - who told FoodNavigator that the company is making 'great progress' in sourcing sustainable ingredients, but added that wider industry involvement will be needed in the long term.

“Company engagement like this is crucial for the drive towards a thriving sugarcane sector, with positive impacts on society and the environment," said Sven Sielhorst, programme manager sugarcane at Solidaridad."I am very excited that Unilever is taking initiative."

"Only when others follow can we really make [the] sugarcane industry contribute to positive change in the world," said Sielhorst.

The aims are:

  • To improve productivity of 3,600 farm and mill labourers in compliance with International Labour Organisation decent labour standards.  
  • To improve social, environmental and commercial farm performance for 1,900 farmers through farmer support with 8,000 hectares under good agricultural management.
  • To achieve one mill and 5,000 hectares in compliance with Bonsucro Production Standard and to create cross-industry learnings around sustainability and certification.
  • To share lessons learned and experiences with other actors in the Mexican and Central American sugarcane industry.

Related products

FiE 2015: Our best bits

FiE 2015: Our best bits

Our teams of journalists were out in force at Food Ingredients Europe (FiE) last...

New tech on EFSA’s horizon: Crowdsourcing and cyber assistants

New tech on EFSA’s horizon: Crowdsourcing and cyber assistants

New technology like crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence computers is the future of risk assessment,...

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

The quest for alternatives to animal-derived proteins has led to a huge amount of...

Food firms should prepare for pre-recession spending

Prepare for pre-recession spend – top economist

Food manufacturers should prepare for a positive three years ahead, as the changing economy...

Creepy proteins will be hot

New proteins are creeping on trend

Alternative proteins are a “hot area” of interest and products such as sandwich spreads...

Salt reduction not a priority for UK consumers: LoSalt survey

Salt reduction not a priority for UK consumers, finds LoSalt survey

Caroline Klinge

sales and marketing manager, LoSalt

‘Nice wine, no corkscrew?’ Mirabeau En Provence wins 8m+ YouTube views

‘Nice wine, no corkscrew?’ Mirabeau En Provence solution strikes YouTube gold with 8 million+ views

Mirabeau En Provence owner Stephen Cronk says the desire for a direct consumer connection...

DSM claims craft brewer interest in gluten-free beer enzyme

DSM claims craft brewer interest in gluten-free beer enzyme

DSM Food Specialities claims that, far from being cautious, craft brewers are embracing the...

Smoothie brand Froosh warns of ‘social washing’ within supply chain

Smoothie brand Froosh warns of ‘social washing’ on supply chain sustainability

Scandinavia’s top-selling smoothie manufacturer Froosh has called for ‘trade not aid’ in developing countries...

Saturated fat guidelines out, food guidelines in?

Get rid of nutrients and focus on foods in guidelines, says sat fat researcher

Benoit Lamarche

Saturated fat researcher, Laval University

EU referendum: vote to stay, says Greencore boss

Four reasons to stay in the EU: Greencore boss

Four factors explain why the food and drink industry would be much better off...

Smart combinations: Juices blend fruit and vegetable ingredients for nutritional punch and flavor appeal

Smart combinations: Juices blend fruit and vegetable ingredients for nutritional punch and flavor appeal

Vegetable ingredients may boost the nutritional content of beverages: but when it comes to...

Refreshment and nutrition drive demand for vegetable ingredients

Refreshment and nutrition drive demand for vegetable ingredients

Vegetable ingredients are winning favor with consumers who value them as a healthy part...

Marketing to the ‘elderly'

Marketing to the ‘elderly’: Overcoming the taboo of getting old

There is a need for public health strategies and products to address Europe's rapidly...

What opportunities does the backlash against sugar create?

What opportunities does the backlash against sugar create?

From links with obesity and type 2 diabetes to government taxes, sugar is currently...

Eat with your eyes: Making sense of multi-sensory food

Eat with your eyes: Making sense of multi-sensory food

Food should taste and smell good but what else should and can it do...

The 4 biggest mistakes in healthy marketing

The 4 biggest mistakes in healthy marketing

The Healthy Marketing Team tells us what NOT to do when marketing a healthy...

How the food industry can boost consumer health

Three changes food industry must make to boost health

Food and drink manufacturers must make three changes across their businesses to help boost...

Food industry new starters offered top tip

Food business starters should be hungry for knowledge

Young people starting their food business careers should hungry for knowledge about the roles...

Key Industry Events