Sustainable sourcing: the latest developments
just-food looks at the sustainability of supply chains for four key commodities: palm oil, cocoa, soy and sugar.
The first section of our management briefing examining how the food industry is working to make agricultural supply chains more sustainable looks at cocoa, a commodity facing grave challenges but now receiving increased and concerted attention from companies following the launch of the CocoaAction collective initiative a year ago.
To conclude just-food's management briefing on sustainable sourcing, Ben Cooper examines some of the key cross-cutting sustainability issues in agricultural supply chains and how they may influence the next steps for food companies on sustainable sourcing.
The fourth agricultural commodity to be featured in just-food's management briefing on sustainable sourcing is the world's largest - sugarcane. While sugar is already a much-discussed subject in the context of the obesity debate, Ben Cooper writes, food companies are under increasing pressure to step up engagement on sugar from a supply chain perspective and scale up current sustainability efforts.
In the fifth part of just-food's management briefing on sustainable sourcing, Ben Cooper examines how consumer demand for certified sustainable cocoa has fostered corporate action to improve the living standards of their agricultural suppliers and make their raw material supply chains more sustainable.
Reflecting not only the increasing emphasis food companies are placing on their agricultural supply chains but on supporting smallholder farmers specifically, Mars and Danone have jointly launched the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming. Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer and health & wellness officer at Mars, spoke with Ben Cooper about the initiative and the positive impact the founding companies hope it will bring.
In the third section of just-food's management briefing looking at sustainable sourcing, Ben Cooper asks whether discussion of the role genetic modification (GM) plays in the soy sector is a critical debate or a distraction from more important sustainability issues around deforestation and its consequences.
A group of major consumer goods companies and investors have publicly called on the Roundtable on Responsible Palm Oil (RSPO) to strengthen its standards following mounting criticism of the multi-stakeholder platform. This has left the RSPO pondering whether it can afford to continue to move at a pace that keeps less ambitious companies engaged or whether it should allow more progressive members to set the agenda, Ben Cooper reports.
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