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Sustainability Strategies, Practices and Opinions in the Food Industry

  • November 2014
  • 85 pages
  • GlobalData
Report ID: 2535685

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Summary
The top multinational food ingredient and food product manufacturers all have strategic goals and operational procedures in place to work for more sustainable food production, but many challenges exist. Specialty food ingredients manufacturing requires tools and solutions to improve resource efficiency along the whole of the food value chain.

In June 2014, Canadean's food industry panel research found that 98 industry executives rated general performance parameters such as 'increase market share', 'improve customer satisfaction', and 'grow profit levels', as the most important objectives to be achieved over the next three years. However it is clearly that at the very top of the companies, 69% of executives overseeing the company's long term survival, state that they and their organizations “Have a duty to protect the environment in which they operate”. Amongst European consumers, there are regional variations regarding the rate of transparency in supply chains. However, the overall results from UK consumers saw a stable opinion from 2013 to 2014, as 64% of all respondents considered themselves to be sustainability conscious consumers, and 36% did not consider this to be important. Amongst global industry players, there are some key issues raised by ingredient manufacturers, related to processing, water, expenditure, recycling, and cleaning, and biomass management in general, via biofuel options or the discovery of new by-product opportunities.

However, Life Cycle Assessment programs for top agricultural raw materials and ingredients by volume are high on the agenda for major ingredient suppliers, as well as RandD investments for providing more food solutions to the growing world population. Over the years, the world's largest food and beverage manufacturers have largely focused on the raw material supply side in their sustainability programs, in order to reach new goals; this is in addition to the current mainstream goals regarding greenhouse gas emissions and packaging reductions. Many of the multinationals are directly into the support programs of local farming communities in terms of supplying goods, consulting on issues such as seeds selections, crop rotations, fertilization and cultivation, the collection and handling of crops, and even microloans opportunities. The farming communities supported typically grow commodity crops such as coffee, cocoa, oil palms, fruits, or vegetables. These programs are typically in collaborations with ingredient manufacturers, NGOs, or other interest organizations.

Key Findings
- UK Consumers believe themselves sustainable conscious

- Younger and Older Generation Feel this most important

- Consumers rate packaging, waste and energy top factors

- Food Industry executives think organic ingredients and reusable packaging is of lesser significance for objectives and strategies

- Reducing water pollution and carbon emission levels are most important issues to Food Industry

- Food industry executives recognize the importance of reducing pollution and maintaining a happy workforce

- Food industry executives confirm that being transparent to customers is more important for them compared to five years ago

- Most companies successfully initiated necessary steps to reduce carbon footprint levels and reduced the amount of packaging

- Many organizations are actively engaged in reducing levels of water used in production

- Some are trying to source more and more natural ingredients locally

- Biodiversity, farmers' partnerships and micro-financing top agenda on raw material side.

- By-Products, Biofuel and Process water key topics for ingredient industry.

Synopsis
Sustainability in the food industry is a major strategic issue for all stakeholders involved in the food supply chain, from agriculture, ingredient manufacturing, product manufacturing, packing, and distribution, to the consumers. The food industry has environmental obligations to preserve biodiversity, reduce water, and reduce waste and emission gasses, as well as caring for livelihood in terms of health and wealth local societies. In addition, the global food industry is faced with increasing pressure regarding raw materials, ingredient sourcing, and food production to feed the growing population, in an environment of constant optimization and supply chain control. To feed the current global population's daily needs requires the annual production of nutrients to deliver 360 million tons of carbohydrates, 364 million tons of protein, and 195 million tons of fat, as a minimum. The agriculture and fishery industries are stretched today and the expected increase in the population, of 38% in the next 15 years, will demand clever strategies.

This report evaluates industry executives opinions on sustainability issues and a focus group of consumers have been questioned about their concerns and sentiments. The report concludes that sustainability measures have mainly been focused on the raw material supply chain, issues related to production energy costs, and better environmental preservation, depending on a stakeholders' position in the supply chain, as well as individual market conditions. The newest challenges ahead for the industry are mainly the handling of biomass waste in terms of pursuing innovations of by-product ingredients, as well as handling the overall biodiversity issue on raw material usage. This report looks into current framework conditions for the overall food industry supply chain, the rating of priorities and issues from industry leaders to consumers, and evaluates key measures of sustainability strategies implemented within the top ten global ingredient and food product manufacturers.

Reasons To Buy
- Gain insight in current sustainability measures established by global leaders in the food industry

- Understand what food industry executives prioritize strategically, regarding sustainability investments

- Achieve insights of sentiments and priorities amongst food product consumers

- Understand how a full food supply chain approach operates, and what conditions affects the measures implemented by the food industry

- Gain insights into specific parameters that are becoming new priorities for the ingredient and food industry to work with, to move towards new sustainability goals for their organizations.

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