Sourcing 100% agricultural raw materials sustainably
Making the world a better, tastier place via sustainable sourcing
Sustainable farming methods have the potential to increase farmers’ yields considerably, mitigate the effects of climate change, and provide farmers, their families and their surrounding communities with opportunities to build more prosperous societies – so they can contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The business benefits are clear. Sourcing sustainably helps secure our supplies, and reduces risk and volatility in our raw material supply chains. It opens up opportunities for innovation: by focusing on people’s sustainable living needs and consumer preference, we build stronger brands. Sustainable farming methods can also improve the quality of our products.
As one of the largest purchasers of commodities such as tea, vegetables, palm oil, paper and pulp, we’re in a unique position to positively influence global supply chains, and are committed to sourcing 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020.
Continental – making the world a better, tastier place
Continental believes that food made using responsibly grown and sourced ingredients tastes better, looks after the wellbeing of our farmers and the future of our planet. Through the Continental Sustainability Living Plan we’re helping our farmers develop their ideas and fast-track implementation of sustainable farming practices in Australia and New Zealand. In fact, we have worked closely with our farmers right here in Australia and New Zealand to grow all of our tomatoes, pumpkins, wheat for our pasta and rice sustainably and we are proud to have 3 landmark farms present here in Australia.
As a result, 86% of vegetables and herbs used in our local Continental products are sustainably sourced. In 2015 we certified three new suppliers against our sustainable agriculture standards, helping to secure the future supply of sustainably grown Australian tomatoes in our products and together, farmers who’ve been in our program for three years have saved 10.6 million litres of irrigation water - that’s the equivalent of 55,000 average showers.
David Oudes is a New Zealand pumpkin farmer from one of our Continental Landmark Farms, a farm that is recognised for championing agricultural sustainability and responsible land use and certified against Unilever’s Sustainable Agriculture Code. He has experienced firsthand the positive impacts of responsible agriculture, from improving the quality of his produce, increasing efficiency and reducing costs and waste through to protecting the environment for the future.
As David explains, ‘It’s got to be sustainable from generation to generation, so when we cultivate our soils, it’s got to be done in a way that’s going to enhance the soil. When we grow the pumpkins we want to make sure that the nutrients are the best they can be”.
Sustainably sourcing other raw ingredients
We are also continuing to work across our business to source our ingredients in sustainable ways. In 2013, the Australian Dairy Industry was the first in the world to be recognised as sustainable, based on a review of current industry practices against Unilever’s Sustainable Agricultural Code.
Since 2012, we’ve purchased 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified sustainably sourced cocoa for the chocolate coating in our Australian-manufactured Magnum ice cream range while all of our ice cream sticks for local manufacturing come from sustainable forests and we are working to ensure the same applies to the small percentage of ice creams we import from overseas.
100% of the paper and board packaging used for our locally made products is sustainably sourced, with the majority (90%) using recycled materials and the remainder sourced from sustainable forests. We were also the first major tea producer to move to sustainably sourced tea in 2009. Since 2012, 100% of our Lipton Tea has been sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified estates.
Find out more about how we’re transforming the palm oil industry through sustainable and traceable sourcing