Flavour house IFF aiming to foster 'collective' sustainability

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainability Business ethics Iff

International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) notes requests for sustainability data are on the rise throughout the supply chain, as its releases its first report on responsible sourcing and its environmental performance.

The flavour house said its publication, Sustainability: The Essence of IFF​, is an extensive review of its global sustainability practices.

“Both customers and our internal stakeholders asked us to share more information about where we were on the sustainability front,”​ said Kip Cleverley, director, global sustainability, speaking to FoodNavigator.com about the trigger for the report.

“For many customers, sustainability is not just part of their corporate social responsibility​ (CSR), it is part of their brand promise. Our strategy is aligned with our customers’ needs to foster collective sustainability,”​ he commented.

SEDEX membership

Historically, IFF has taken into account a variety of environmental, social, and economic factors as part of its decision-making processes, explained Cleverley. But, he said qualitative sustainability-related factors [rather than just quantitative economic factors] will play a larger role in the company’s strategy in the future.

“We are encouraging our top suppliers - which represent more than 90% of our supply chain purchases - to join SEDEX and going forward, we will develop metrics to quantify the results,”​ continued Cleverley.

SEDEX – the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange – is an organisation that uses a web-based reporting system to promote ethics through the supply chain.

The spokesperson stressed that the IFF supplier code of conduct clearly communicates the company’s expectations that suppliers must conduct their businesses ethically and comply with all IFF and legal requirements.

The report flags up the fact that all of IFF’s manufacturing sites are registered with the SEDEX. And the flavour company said it is in the process of self-assessments but is working towards having all of its facilities “undergo third-party audits in the near future.”

Sourcing partnerships

When asked if IFF will establish any new partnerships such as the one with Fairtrade certified vanilla supplier, Vanipro, in the coming year, Cleverley said that the company is always on the look-out for “mutually beneficial partnerships”​ that meet its sustainability goals.

IFF claims its strategic partnership with the Madagascar-based supplier enables direct sourcing for the flavour house but also ensures firmer long-term relationships with growers and a more sustainable future for them. “Vanipro maintains a code of conduct and provides documentation on their compliance and commitment to work within ethical guidelines,” ​it added.

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