Sector News

Dairy impact: Uelzena’s 2018 sustainability report highlights focus on regional responsibility

August 6, 2019
Food & Drink

Products, production, employees and regional responsibility are the key fields of action that German-based Uelzena Group is targeting, according to its 2018 sustainability report dubbed “Basis for the future: sustainable investments.”

The report also describes the company’s progress, actions and successes, as well as relevant facts and data. Additionally, it contains information about the economic, ecological and social activities of the company. The reporting is performed annually and is based on the international GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) standards.

Sustainable milk production is at the core of reporting, with the Thünen-Institute evaluating the first results in 2018. By making these results available to their dairies, they can enter a direct dialogue with their milk producers in order to jointly develop improvement measures, the company says. Additionally, within the scope of the Sustainability module milk, the Group has appointed an Uelzena Advisory Board. In the future, the Board will supervise the project as a separate body to accompany the continuous improvement process.

The report includes details about the company’s €120 million modernization investment. Last year, the company spent €120 million on investments into new production plants and technical modernization efforts, which are scheduled to take place over the next few years. These investments are among the largest package of measures in Uelzena Group’s history. Aspects of the project include a new high-bay warehouse and a new filter. The company says that the investments are emphasizing its cooperative mission as a reliable milk customer in the regions, while also increasing its efficiency for its customers.

The Group’s sustainability strategy was developed in 2014 and takes into account the ecological, economical and social responsibility of the company. Almost all of the 2018 intermediate targets were met, including positive business development, high-quality standards, transparency in the supply chain, progress in environmentally-conscious production, as well as a high satisfaction rate amongst employees.

Sustainability is firmly embedded in the company’s thoughts, actions and business strategy according to a previous FoodIngredientsFirst interview with Uwe Radke, Uelzena Managing Director of Marketing and Sales. “We believe that business and companies that ignore the broad move towards responsible and sustainable food production and consumption will risk their base of business and the acceptance of the public,” he said.

Other leaders in the dairy industry are also taking steps to ramp up sustainability, with Danone and DSM joining the Farming for Generations alliance to ensure that food systems will be “fit for the future.”

Earlier this year, Lara Phillips, Manager, Sustainable Value at NZMP told FoodIngredientsFirst how Fonterra has targets to become more sustainable. “Going forward, we are working to further improve our data collection and reporting and engage with our supply chain to improve performance,” she said.

However, a recent report from the CDP flagged that 76 percent of high-impact food and agriculture companies are not disclosing their deforestation impact, including information about their cattle. The organization noted that while an increasing number of companies are releasing their own sustainability reports, but that these are often not comparable to other companies and allows them to set the narrative they want to tell.

By: Katherine Durrell

Source: Food Ingredients First

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