Nestlé Switzerland targets 100% ‘responsible sourcing’ by 2020

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Nestle hails progress on responsible sourcing in Switzerland
Nestle hails progress on responsible sourcing in Switzerland

Related tags Environmentalism

Nestlé aims to ensure 100% “responsible sourcing” in its supply chain across 12 categories of key raw materials in Switzerland by 2020.

The company is focusing its efforts on key commodities: milk, sugar, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, hazelnuts, vanilla, meat, fish, tomatoes and eggs. The group is also extending this effort to the paper and cardboard used in its packaging, a spokesperson for Nestlé Switzerland told FoodNavigator.

“We have a number of requirements regarding the sourcing and traceability of our raw materials, including provisions related to human rights, environmental protection, animal welfare, safety and health, and company integrity.

“We are working closely with our suppliers and independent third parties, such as The Forest Trust and Marine Stewardship Council, to ensure transparency in our supply chain, while putting in place business plans in line with our strict environmental and social requirements,”​ the spokesperson said.

Nestlé Switzerland is also supporting its suppliers to implement “responsible business practices”​ by conducting “ethical audits”​ that look at issues impacting the environment, safety, the workforce and “integrity”​. 

The Swiss business unit also aims to help suppliers comply with the Nestlé supplier code, a set of “minimum standards”​ that cover areas such as human rights, environmental stewardship and health and safety.

The spokesperson stressed that Nestlé has made some “key achievements”​ to date in Switzerland. These include: “In 2017, 92% of our key raw materials [were] traceable and responsibly sourced… 100% of the cocoa beans processed at the Cailler factory in Broc in Switzerland are UTZ certified… [and] 100% of the coffee processed at our coffee factory in Orbe is 4C certified.”

Nestlé Switzerland's efforts are in line with Nestlé's corporate sourcing strategy, which was detailed in the group's responsible sourcing guideline (RSG), published in 2013. The guide sets out detailed policies for the sourcing of all the commodities Nestlé Switzerland is concentrating its efforts on, with the addition of soya. 

"Nestlé is committed to continuously increasing the share of raw and packaging material sourced in compliance with the RSG. All Nestlé suppliers are expected to engage in a process of continuous improvement and to verify their processes and practices against the RSG,"​ the company stated. 

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1 comment

Milk and dairy ingredients the biggest climate change problem for Nestle

Posted by Stuart,

2017 was the second hottest year on record, right behind 2016. Climate change is real and dramatic changes will be made in the next few years as public demands action and consumers begin to boycott products that adversely accelerate climate change.

Don't think climate change will affect the food and beverage industry for decades? Check out this NY Times article today on collapsing glaciers - the ones that feed the world's most important food-producing rivers.

It's heartening that Nestle lists milk as the first focus for "responsible sourcing" (at least in this article) but that's to be expected as Nestle is a top 10 global dairy product producer and is well aware of the enormous climate change implications of using milk and dairy ingredients like whey and casein. The reason is that dairy cows and beef cattle belch enormous of the greenhouse gas methane out their mouths. Methane is 25X more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat and therefore is a key target for climate change activists, which will soon include all of us.

As Nestle is one of the world's top producers of milk products, consumers will be watching its actions in dairy and its honest efforts at rejigging product formulations wherever possible to move away from dairy ingredients.

One advantage to consumers and product developers boycotting milk, whey and casein is that methane drops out of the atmosphere in 10 years, versus a 100 years for CO2. Benefit: any change we consumers make now in reducing dairy usage will have an impact in our lifetimes. Powerful argument for consumer personal action.

Note to product developers like Nestle and others: when carbon pricing comes in, methane milk and dairy ingredients will have to be priced at 25X the CO2 carbon price (to be fair). Have you priced in rising costs for the next 5, 10 or 20 years for your product and their ingredients because you use dairy ingredients instead of something more environmentally benign like soy or pea? You need to think seriously about that.

I love milk and cheese and use whey protein but will scale back. Dairy will not disappear. It will be gradually scaled back as the consumer backlash and boycott grows. Government regulators need to make sure methane GHG pricing for dairy and others is included with carbon GHG pricing and they need to stop supporting dairy expansion in their countries - New Zealand are you listening? - before their voters react. It's coming fast.

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