Interview: Putting Sustainability at Heart of Food Industry
From the farm to the supermarket shelf, the global food industry has a critical role to play in ensuring a sustainable future for all. Dr Christopher Stewart, Global Head Sustainability, ofi (olam food ingredients) discusses what manufacturers can do to ethically source ingredients, reduce their emissions, and bring to market great tasting products that consumers want.
Could you focus on one of your ingredients and take me through the supply chain?
We can work with our customers on sustainable innovation. For example, if they’re looking to co-create a snack bar made with cocoa liquor and cocoa butter, slivered almonds, and hazelnut paste, or a frappé made with cocoa powder, almond milk, and coffee powder that come with documented traceability, then our chefs, innovation and sustainability teams join forces to match the right flavour, with the right origin and sustainability programme.
We could source the almonds from our orchards in California where our teams on the ground are investing in state-of-the-art irrigation systems and creating pollinator habitats. The almonds are then sent to our local processing facility that’s equipped to supply tailored solutions from whole nuts to ingredients. The beans for the coffee powder might come from the farmers we work with in Peru as part of a circular coffee partnership involving a major coffee roaster, Solidaridad, SERFOR and Cooperative Cuencas de Hullega.
The way our teams on the ground manage these supply chains is further exemplified in our dedicated product sustainability strategies which include: Almond Trail, Coffee LENS, and Cocoa Compass. And with the data and footprinting calculator on AtSource+, the customer can see the social impact and carbon emissions for each of their ingredients, and then calculate the overall footprint of their product.