Food companies are increasingly held to a higher sustainability standard along their supply chains, prompting a more holistic approach when developing strategy
Irish ingredient supplier Kerry Group has announced Beyond the Horizon – a new ambitious sustainability strategy with targets that address key impacts by 2030 in not only nutrition and health, but also emissions, energy, circular economy, raw materials, and social impact.
Objectives in the new strategy includes a goal to enhance and expand Kerry’s solutions portfolio, reaching over 2bn people with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030. The company recognises an increasing demand for food and beverages that are healthier, taste great and respect the planet. Kerry plans to reduce operational emissions by 33% by 2030, reaching net-zero before 2050 and reducing emission intensity of the supply chain by 30% by 2030, after reducing this measure by almost 23% in the past 5 years.
Head of sustainability for Kerry Group Juan Aguiriano said the company is supporting a more circular approach on plastics and waste. By 2025, the group aims to ensure all plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable. With a shift to more reusables, waste will be diverted away from landfill and a target to halve food waste by 2030 is more achievable. Aguiriano said Kerry is ready to work with its customers to “co-create and innovate for more sustainable consumer diets” as the group wants to source all priority raw materials sustainably by 2030.
Chief executive officer of Kerry Group Edmond Scanlon said the group is looking to explore the many sectors experiencing accelerated demand due to COVID, saying improving shelf-life for food could have a huge impact on food waste.
Through investments, mergers & acquisitions, Kerry is moving into pro-active health ingredients, allowing the company to tap into trends in functional foods created by the pandemic. Probiotics are gaining greater traction and Kerry has made several acquisitions in this space, and patented a probiotic ingredient designed to provide digestive and immune health support.
Scanlon said COVID has accelerated nutritional consciousness making food safety and food security the number one priority across countries, saying the company’s sustainability strategy will continue to inform its mergers and acquisitions.