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

Headlines > Business

Exclusive interview

Unilever joins with Solidaridad to tackle sustainable sugar cane challenge

By Nathan Gray+

15-Oct-2013

Loading...

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

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

High-protein bread could bake up a storm: Euromonitor

High-protein bread could bake up a storm: Euromonitor

Diana Cowland

Senior Analyst, Health & Wellness, Euromonitor International

Cutting carbs, gluten or fat? The 'utter nonsense' behind claims to be the best diet

Cutting carbs, gluten or fat? The 'utter nonsense' behind claims to be the best diet

Dr David Katz

ddirector of Prevention Research Center. , Yale University

‘If kids don’t like it, you won't get far’: Daioni boss on healthy dairy drink success

‘If kids don’t like it, you won't get far’: Daioni boss on healthy dairy drink success

Welsh farmer turned entrepreneur Laurence Harris tells BeverageDaily.com about his nationwide distribution ambition for...

Bakeries struggling with calls to cut salt, sugar and fat

Bakeries struggling with calls to cut salt, sugar and fat

Manufacturers of baked goods are reaching a point where calls to cut salts, fats...

‘Functional beverage belief is back’: Zenith International chair

‘Functional beverage belief is back’: Zenith International chair

Zenith International chairman Richard Hall tells BeverageDaily.com that he thinks the beverage industry is...

Behavioural economist: Do the nutritional thinking for people if you want change

Behavioural economist: Do the nutritional thinking for people if you want change

Consumers don’t really want more nutritional information, they want an easy life, according to...

Simplicity, not science, rules sweetener coverage

Simplicity, not science, rules sweetener coverage

Professor Jason Halford

University of Liverpool

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Israeli firm Algatechnologies will work towards gaining approval for its astaxanthin as a novel...

InHarvest: Legumes, pulses steal spotlight from animal protein

At the 2014 Research Chefs Association Conference & Culinology Expo, FoodNavigator-USA caught up with...

Industry must debunk whey protein bodybuilding myths: Volac

Industry must debunk whey protein bodybuilding myths: Volac

Michael Hiron

Commercial Manager, Lifestyle Nutrition, Volac

Building for the future: DSM on lessons from Food Vision 2014

Building for the future: DSM on lessons from Food Vision 2014

Industry needs to ‘dramatically innovate’ if it is to come up with sustainable solutions...

In conversation with the mastermind behind the €250,000 lab-grown burger

In conversation with the mastermind behind the €250,000 lab-grown burger

Last year Professor Mark Post sparked international interest with the unveiling, and tasting, of...

Food science under spotlight at IFST jubilee conference

Food science under spotlight at IFST jubilee conference

Mapping the future of food science is the aim of the Institute of Food...

Manufacturers miss big breaks with small innovations

Manufacturers miss big breaks with small innovations

Food and drinks manufacturers could be missing out on ground-breaking new product development opportunities...

Invest in small food firms or risk losing income

Invest in small food firms or risk losing income

Big food and drink manufacturers should invest in small firms to protect their income...

Food Vision 2014: Bridge knowledge gaps, overcome change and work sustainably

Food Vision 2014: Bridge knowledge gaps, overcome change and work sustainably

What is the future of food? Simple communication of complex advances will be crucial,...

Talking Rain CEO: Pepsi and Coke weren’t even looking at sparkling waters

Talking Rain CEO: Pepsi and Coke weren’t even looking at sparkling waters

Talking Rain’s Sparkling Ice brand plugs a market gap that Pepsi and Coca-Cola missed,...

Innovation for today: Digital tech empowers industry to innovate

Innovation for today: Digital tech empowers industry to innovate

Chris Cornyn

founder & president, DINE Marketing

Foodex 2014 – video highlights

Foodex 2014 – video highlights

The consequences of the horsemeat crisis, filling the yawning skills gap, lean and green...

Beware due diligence issues post-horsegate – lawyer

Beware due diligence issues post-horsegate – lawyer

Due diligence has weaknesses and isn’t a perfect defence against food fraud, despite offering...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Events from partners...