Danone, Unilever, Heinz and Nestlé are the most sustainable large food producers in the world, according to new research released earlier this month by Bank Sarasin.
The study, Food and sustainability: Will the seed bear fruit? highlights three central sustainability themes that affect food producers:
- health and nutrition
- sourcing more raw materials from sustainable agriculture
- committing to fair working conditions.
And although the report found that many large food producers are developing sustainability strategies, Bank Sarasin concluded that most companies still have plenty of ground to cover on the path towards sustainability.
For example, the food industry as a whole faces significant challenges regarding the procurement of raw materials from sustainable sources. The world’s largest food producers purchase a significant share of global harvests –up to 20 percent of the world’s coffee, more than 10 percent of its tea, tomatoes and peas, and about 5 percent of its palm oil. Companies that have worked to secure large volumes of their raw materials from sustainable sources ranked high on Bank Sarasin’s matrix of sustainability criteria.