Each year Givaudan buys around 10,000 raw materials from locations around the globe including China, Brazil, Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt and Madagascar.
In 2016, it rolled out its own in-house Responsible Sourcing Policy and it will use this to define what it considers to be responsibly sourced.
All raw materials “whose supply chains have no gaps identified” according to this policy, or for which it has implemented improvement plans, will be considered to be sustainable.
Its 2016 policy was defined in consultation with stakeholders including the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the International Trade Center (ITC), the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) and The Forest Trust (TFT).
Head of global procurement and sustainability Willem Mutsaerts said it would use the Responsible Sourcing programme as a blueprint for how it would work with its suppliers “to protect fragile natural sources and lead supply chain transparency.”
'We may include auditors'
The firm would not say what percentage of its materials are currently sustainably sourced, nor if it had identified certain ingredients as priority areas.
A spokesperson for the firm said: “We are in the starting phase of the programme where the focus is on creating supply chain transparency first through assessments. In due course we will report progress on volumes of responsibly sourced materials.
“We are working with third parties for the supply chain assessments and to provide guidance on improvement actions where needed. We may include auditors for tracking progress on improvement actions depending on our findings.”
It also asks that its first-tier suppliers have been successfully audited according to SMETA protocol, or an equivalent.
SEDEX – the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange – is an organisation that uses a web-based reporting system to promote ethics through the supply chain. Its audit SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) is one of the most widely used ethical audit formats in the world.
“For key raw materials of natural origin, we are going further [than SMETA] by creating supply chain transparency, collecting information on intermediary suppliers up to the farm level, and initiating valuable improvements where needed,” said Johannes Rogaar, Givaudan’s head of global procurement excellence and responsible sourcing.
TFT: ‘A real step forward’
Chief executive of non-profit organisation The Forest Trust (TFT), which aims to improve global supply chains for people and the planet, Bastien Sachet said the announcement by Givaudan was “a real step forward for the flavours and fragrances industry.”
“We haven’t yet seen similar commitments made by any other player, and I commend them for it. I hope this will be the start of a chain reaction in the industry, where others will look to Givaudan’s example and want to be involved.”
Givaudan also announced its membership of TFT last week. The NGO will conduct supply chain evaluations in order to help it enforce its Responsible Sourcing programme and, where needed, solve problems together.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Givaudan employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. In 2016, it reported sales of CHF 4.7 billion (€4bn).