Responsible Sourcing in the Food Industry – Key Challenges
Food and beverages companies will increasingly need to account for their indirect contribution to global social and environmental challenges, demonstrating management strategies to mitigate their impact.
Clear labelling of products and responsible decisions over product formulation (salt, sugar, fat content etc.) also contribute to responsible sourcing and are hot topics of conversation with 74% of men and 64% of women in the UK to be overweight by 2030.
Responsible sourcing, which has also been referred to as supply chain responsibility is a hot topic of conversation following the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Customer demand for sustainably sourced food has never been stronger. Trust in food sources is becoming increasingly linked to the notion of sustainable and local sourcing – customers want to know more and more details about where food is coming from, and from this make a judgement about its quality. Ethical Sourcing and the fair-trade movement have all had a part in highlighting to the public the problems that are faced within the food and beverage industry.
As a result, food and beverages companies increasingly need to demonstrate that they source their products responsibly, and increase the transparency of their supply chains.
Along with ethical sourcing, companies are also being held to account for the environmental impacts of the products they source. In particular, palm oil has been identified as the cause of widespread deforestation and there is significant pressure on companies to use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.
But responsible sourcing doesn’t stop there. Agricultural lands occupy nearly 40 per cent of the Earth’s land surface and the majority of raw materials for the food and beverage sector ultimately come from farms. Primary production is closely allied with many core sustainability issues such as water scarcity and climate change.
Companies are being increasingly monitored on their ‘Supply Chain Responsibility’. Viewing responsible sourcing as an opportunity and creating supply chain leadership, innovation and a commitment to enlightened sustainable sourcing will be needed to meet the above conditions. However, the rewards are not only great; they stand every chance of growing further as more companies accept the sustainability imperative.
Sustainable Sourcing = sustainable product.
If you can’t map it you can’t manage it!
Responsible sourcing, which has also been referred to as supply chain responsibility is a hot topic of conversation following the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.