Doing business sustainably is not just about what we do ourselves: it’s also about what others do for us. At Vandemoortele, we undertake to promote ethical behaviour all along the supply chain. In that way, we can be sure that people and the natural environment are treated with the respect they deserve.
Promoting ethical behaviour right along the supply chain is not an empty promise, but a genuine commitment. When our direct suppliers sign our Supplier Code of Conduct, it becomes binding upon them.
In some cases, we have to look further up and down the supply chain to ensure responsible sourcing. For example, growing and harvesting a number of our core ingredients (such as palm oil, soy, wheat, cocoa and eggs) may raise issues of environmental protection, human and animal rights, and health and safety. We take steps to enhance the sustainability of these products, too, from farmer to consumer. The same goes for our packaging materials: we have to be sure that the timber from which the paper and cardboard have been produced comes from responsibly managed forests.
Sustainable palm oil: “Well on the path”
Although palm oil can actually be grown on relatively little land, the large scale on which it has been produced in recent years has led to natural forests being cleared, threatening biodiversity and increasing the exploitation of the local population.
We recognise the urgent need to steer the palm oil industry back in the right direction. In that context, we have developed long-term partnerships with various organisations committed to raising awareness of these issues in the industry. For the same reason, we continue to play an active role in initiatives promoting the use of sustainable palm oil around the world.
Soy with good roots
Due to strong growth in demand, soy production is on the increase in South America. This often comes at the expense of biodiversity and the interests of local communities. This is why the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is such a welcome initiative and why, since May 2011, Vandemoortele has occupied a seat at this table. RTRS helps to promote the responsible production of soy worldwide. Together with this organisation, we’re taking action to protect forests, promote the use of low-impact herbicides, and safeguard quality of life for growers and workers alike.
For our branded consumer products we use 100%-certified sustainable soy. This applies both to the soy ingredients we use ourselves and the soy that ends up in our products indirectly via feed (e.g. in eggs, butter and other animal-derived products).
Wheat from a flourishing countryside
Le blé de nos campagnes® (“Wheat from our countryside”) is a group of French farmers, millers and others active in the wheat food chain who became concerned about the negative developments associated with today’s industrial-style agricultural practices. They set up an organisation (also known as Culture Raisonnée Contrôlée, CRC®) to certify wheat of excellent quality that is grown with fewer negative impacts on the environment and on consumers’ health.
The organisation’s members maintain biodiversity in their fields by planting or protecting hedgerows, wildflower meadows and endangered species. Pollution of natural water streams is avoided by not cultivating on river banks.
CRC® certified wheat should be grown at least 250 metres from a motorway, airport, factory or other source of air pollution. The use of herbicides is forbidden, the wheat is stored with natural air ventilation and without the use of insecticides, and the wheat is rigorously traceable.
In our bread category, customers have the option of choosing CRC® wheat flour (subject to availability).
Cocoa from happy farmers
Almost everyone in Europe loves chocolate! And Vandemoortele loves to satisfy that desire – but not at the expense of the environment or the wellbeing of workers.
For that reason, we joined UTZ back in 2013. This organisation helps farmers to improve their productivity, efficiency and quality without sacrificing the interests of local communities or the environment. Our customers have the option of choosing UTZ cocoa with Mass Balance Certification.
Together with UTZ, we continue to work for a brighter future for our planet and the next generations to inhabit it.
Eggs from a cosy nest
Vandemoortele takes animal welfare seriously. That’s why our customers have the option of choosing eggs from barn chickens, free-range chickens and/or those with a Label Rouge.
Paper and cardboard packaging that preserves our forests
Our goal is to ensure that, for our consumer brands, by the end of 2018, paper bags, solid cardboard and corrugated cardboard packaging are made from recycled or certified materials. By 2020, all paper and cardboard packaging materials for our consumer brands should be recycled or certified sustainable. In the case of certified materials, we opt for labels issued by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Both these international organisations are committed to ensuring that our forests are managed responsibly by taking social, ecological and economic factors into account.
Our suppliers are also required to comply with the strict European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC of 20 December 1994 on the prevention of waste and the production, reuse, recycling and recuperation of packaging materials.