Kraft Foods advances its sustainability agenda
April 21, 2009
Kraft Foods has reached two important achievements that progress sustainability within its agricultural supply chain. Last year, the company increased its year-over-year purchase of coffee beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms by 50 percent, bringing the total to nearly 30,000 metric tons. In February, Kraft Foods and other industry, government and nongovernmental partners joined with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and announced the launch of a comprehensive program that will invest $90 million over five years to advance the sustainable production of cocoa and cashews in Africa. In the early 1990s, Kraft Foods began addressing coffee sustainability with the support of public-private partnerships and expanded this strategy in 2003 to include Rainforest Alliance certification. Over the last five years, the company''s partnership with the Rainforest Alliance has benefited more than 300,000 farmers and their dependents on more than 60,000 hectares of farmland in developing markets. Importantly, the decision to source from Rainforest Alliance farms has been both a sustainability and business success. For example, Kraft Foods relaunched several Kenco coffee products in the United Kingdom last year, highlighting Rainforest Alliance certification. Initial consumer impact has been impressive, generating double-digit revenue growth. In 2005, Kraft Foods expanded the collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance to include cocoa and purchased approximately 3,000 metric tons in 2008. Last year, under its Suchard brand, Kraft Foods became the first European manufacturer of hot chocolate to carry the Rainforest Alliance seal. Seventy percent of the world''s cocoa comes from West Africa. One-third of the world''s cashews come from West Africa. These two industries provide income for millions of smallholder farmers who, like a majority of the world''s poorest people, live in rural areas and rely on agriculture for their food and income.
By lending support at the farm level and forward, Kraft Foods can help address the cycle of poverty and hunger that undermines the communities from where we source our raw materials," said Yucknut. Advancing sustainable sourcing of our agricultural commodities; reducing the use of water, energy and packaging; transporting more efficiently; and minimizing the amount of waste we produce will all play a vital role in ensuring the long-term health of our business and our planet. In addition to the work we''re doing with agricultural commodities, we''ve set some aggressive goals in five key areas that round out our sustainability focus: Reduce plant energy usage by 25 percent; Reduce plant energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent; Reduce plant water consumption by 15 percent; Reduce plant waste by 15 percent; and Eliminate 150 million pounds (over 68 million kg) of packaging material. Kraft Foods is making strong headway against these goals. The company has published a fact sheet http://www.kraftfoodscompany.com/assets/pdf/KFTFactSustainabilityProgress2009.04FINAL.pdf with examples from several initiatives underway in each of the company''s six focus areas.