Ferrero’s sustainability report reveals continued progress on key operational goals
A core achievement has been delivered by the Ferrero Group, as it expressed confidence in achieving its principal environmental and broader operating goals as it released its 14th sustainability report, writes Neill Barston.
The company’s performance has previously been commended by WWF for its approach to supply chains in regards to palm oil sourcing, and as reported, it has also placed significant focus on enhancing its practices across its supply chains.
This autumn the business is set to play a key role in our World Confectionery Conference, as Francesco Tramontin, the company’s Vice president of EU institutional relations and group public policy centre, will be returning as a keynote speaker on 5 October at the Harrogate Convention Centre, Yorkshire, UK, to discuss its progress and explore wider shared challenges within the sector (see our recent exclusive video interview with him here). You can also register for this year’s conference at our newly revamped, dedicated website for the event here.
The company’s enhanced policies come at a time when consumers are increasing aware of traceability and ethical standards of operating, which is markedly influencing the purchasing patterns of many shoppers around the globe.
As Ferrero noted, its latest sustainability report has continued to train its attention of four key pillars of protecting the environment, sustainable sourcing, promoting responsible consumption and empowering people.
Among its core achievements are 92% of the its global electricity now comes from renewables – up from 84% last year, as well as 100% of its palm oil is RSPO certified segregated, with 99.95% traceable to 146 palm oil mills and 722 plantations. According to the company, its segregation model ensures sustainable palm oil is kept separate from the plantations and farms, and all the way along the supply chain.
Critically, the business has also completed its four-year Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI) plan, with majority of targets either met or even surpassed, including more than 170,000 farmers now enlisted in the Ferrero Cocoa Program, of which 161,000 (95%) were polygon mapped in 2021/22, exceeding the initial target of 153,000.
Another major area of focus has been in publishing its first Human Rights Report at the end of 2021. The report is framed around 10 of the most salient human rights issues across all value chains – regardless of product or geography – and shows how Ferrero is working to address these issues.
Notably, as the business explained, as part of Ferrero Farming Values (FFV), a cross-commodity framework, the Group is committed to supporting and improving sustainable sourcing of its ingredients, as well as sharing knowledge across the value chain. In 2021/22, the FFV programme helped deliver one to one coaching to 32% of cocoa farmers on farm and business planning, whilst 155,000 cocoa farmers took part in group training.
The sustainability report also details how the Group is now reaching traceability back to farm level across more than 96% of its cocoa supply volume. In addition, 82% of the entire cocoa volume was sourced from dedicated farmer groups Ferrero supports. Across all sourced hazelnuts, the Group can report overall traceability of 79% despite systemic supply-chain complexities.
“The financial year was particularly challenging – war broke out, supply chains were disrupted, energy costs surged, and inflation grew alongside the cost of raw materials,” said Giovanni Ferrero, Executive Chairman of the Ferrero Group. “In the face of these challenges, Ferrero has not only been able to grow, but to also make strong progress with a number of our sustainability targets – and, in some instances, exceed them,” he added.
Lapo Civiletti, Chief Executive Officer of the Ferrero Group, also shared his optimism for the group’s progress on its environmental performance and delivering on its wider operating goals.
He added: “Across each of the four key pillars of our sustainability framework, the report shows we have made strong progress towards the objectives we have set ourselves. “Despite a challenging economic and geopolitical environment, the Group increased investments to continue to ensure high levels of quality, freshness and safety across all our products, while reducing our environmental impact.”