At Knorr® Professional we benefit from being part of Unilever; a global leader in the promotion of sustainable sourcing and practices. Through two key Unilever initiatives, the Sustainable Agricultural Code and the Knorr® Sustainability Partnership Fund, we’re able to procure our raw ingredients fairly and sustainably whilst helping farmers to optimise their practices.
We believe that making sustainability commonplace is key to securing the future of the industry. It might sound cliché, but as an industry we talk a lot about sustainability. But are we actually turning enough of this talk into action?
Whilst the global population – and with it the food industry – is growing steadily, so is the demand for agricultural raw materials. In order to be able to ensure supply for the future, we must endeavour to permanently procure sustainable raw materials.
What Is The Unilever Sustainable Agricultural Code (SAC)?
The SAC sets the standards for what Unilever believes to be sustainable agriculture.
Our ingredients are sustainably grown when the farmers growing them meet the SAC. This means that they are farmed in a way that looks after the soil, protects local wildlife, and reduces water and pesticide use.
The SAC has been developed together with farmers and sustainability experts and is independently endorsed by industry experts.
How Does It Work?
The Code defines what sustainable sourcing means in practice, using 11 social, economic and environmental indicators: soil health, soil loss, nutrients, pest management, biodiversity, farm economics, energy, water, social and human capital, local economy and animal welfare.
Click here to find out more about the Unilever Sustainable Agricultural Code.
What is the Knorr® Sustainability Partnership Fund?
We understand that sustainable sourcing is a journey of continuous improvement that involves multiple players along the value chain. That's why we are proud to support our suppliers and farmers through the Knorr® Sustainability Partnership Fund.
The aim of the fund is to support suppliers and farmers on complex sustainable agriculture projects. These include improving soil health, water use and biodiversity - projects which farmers may be unable to tackle alone.
How does it work?
Each year we will co-invest 1 million Euros with our suppliers and farmers in knowledge and equipment to accelerate the implementation of sustainable practices.
Knorr® will invest 50% of any agreed project budget, matched by an equivalent investment from the supplier and/or grower.
Priority is given to certain projects, for example whether they bring new knowledge to the industry, bring suppliers together in a region to tackle a specific issue, or deliver a positive return on investment for all stakeholders.
Since the fund was set up in 2011, we have funded 140 projects and engaged 50 suppliers.
How can we do our bit as chefs and foodservice professionals?
Chefs can play a key role in promoting sustainable sourcing by supporting better farm to fork food practices. Through getting to know where their ingredients are grown, reared or sourced, chefs can ensure they are choosing ingredients with the lowest impact on the environment.
Equally, producers and suppliers should share a chef's values in respect to sustainable sourcing, enabling our industry to lead by example by championing sustainable ingredients.
Creating menus which make the most of seasonal and local produce is also key. Doing so not only reduces the number of intermediaries between the chef and the farmer, but also helps to show people where their food comes from by championing farmers and connecting them to diners.
Chefs, you are the future of food
Chefs really are at the heart of the global food system. For sustainable sourcing across our industry and beyond to truly be achieved, we must all do our part. In leading by example, including educating and training the chefs of tomorrow on how to build sustainable, seasonal menus, chefs can change the way the world thinks and talks about food across kitchens, classrooms and communities.