Knorr scales up sustainable sourcing to drive transformational change
June 2015: With its global scale, Knorr recognises its responsibility and the opportunities for being a catalyst for change, driving widespread change with sustainable sourcing to protect scarce resources, improve livelihoods and build both product quality and brand preference.
Making an informed choice
As Unilever’s biggest brand with sales in 87 countries and a substantial footprint in farming – sourcing from over 40,000 farmers – we have always worked closely with smallholders and suppliers.
Today, 96% of the top 13 vegetables and herbs used in our sauces, soups and seasonings are grown sustainably. This includes every potato and garden pea, and in North America and Europe, all our fresh tomatoes and carrots. And to promote our use of sustainably grown ingredients, we have started to put a Knorr Sustainability Partnership logo (PDF | 3MB) on products, making it easier for people to make informed choices in the supermarket.
Satisfying the rising demand for responsibly sourced ingredients will help us achieve our ambition of making sustainable living commonplace.
Cathryn Sleight, Senior Vice President Knorr, explains: “As more and more people not only want to trust their brands but also to understand the origins of the ingredients in the food they eat and how those are produced, I am confident that our commitment to sustainable agriculture will mobilise everyone along the food value chain, unlocking the power of a movement for sustainable living.”
Mainly operating in dry or powder soups, Knorr recognised the opportunity space in the ‘wet soups’ market, where the brand had not previously been a major player. In Spain, our re-launched wet soups range that uses sustainably sourced ingredients is seen by consumers as being more natural and authentic, with improved taste. In Germany, our first product range of stews made from 100% sustainably sourced vegetables is also performing well. The fresh, rich flavour is locked in by a new transparent pack that is lighter, easier to open and takes up less disposal space than cans.
What does ‘sustainably sourced’ actually mean?
It’s about growing food in ways which sustain the soil, minimise water and fertiliser use, protect biodiversity and enhance farmers’ livelihoods. As there are no international certification standards for fruit and vegetables, Unilever started to develop its Sustainable Agriculture Code more than 15 years ago. This encompasses detailed guidelines and verification systems for our key crops which ensure our standards are respected and the best, most sustainable farming practices are used to produce high-quality ingredients that make our products taste better. In fact, our blueprint for sustainable agriculture is widely recognised as one of the most comprehensive in the industry.