General Mills Pledges to Sustainably Source 10 Ingredients by 2020
General Mills has committed to sustainably source 100 percent of 10 ingredients by 2020.
These ingredients — oats, wheat, corn, dairy, fiber packaging, cocoa, vanilla, palm oil, sugar cane and sugar beets — represent 50 percent of General Mills’ total raw material purchases, the company says.
To achieve its goal for each ingredient, General Mills says it will pursue a range of sustainable approaches including certification, verification, continuous improvement and origin-direct investment.
Specific commitments by ingredient area are:
- Oats: 100 percent of the company’s oats will be sourced from growing regions that demonstrate continuous improvement against industry-based environmental metrics.
- Wheat: 100 percent of General Mills’ US wheat will be sourced from growing regions that demonstrate continuous improvement against the Field-to-Market framework or comparable environmental metrics.
- Corn: 100 percent of the company’s dry milled corn will be sourced from growing regions that demonstrate continuous improvement against the Field-to-Market framework or comparable environmental metrics.
- Dairy: 100 percent of General Mills’ directly sourced fluid milk will originate from producing regions that demonstrate continuous improvement as measured by the Dairy Sustainability Framework (US) or other comparable environmental metrics (globally).
- Fiber packaging: 100 percent of the company’s fiber packaging will be from recycled material or from virgin wood fiber regions that are known to not be contributing to deforestation. Any high-risk regions will be independently verified.
- Cocoa: 100 percent of General Mills’ cocoa will be sourced through origin-direct investment, which will improve the incomes of smallholder farmers and the quality of ingredients.
- Vanilla: 100 percent of the company’s vanilla will be sourced through origin direct investment, which General Mills says will improve the incomes of smallholder farmers and the quality of ingredients.
- Palm oil: 100 percent of the company’s palm oil will be sourced from responsible and sustainable sources in 2015.
- Sugar cane: 100 percent of General Mills’ sugar cane will be sourced from responsible and sustainable sources.
- Sugar beets: 100 percent of the company’s U.S. beet sugar will be sourced from growing regions that demonstrate continuous improvement against the Field-To-Market framework or comparable environmental metrics.
About two-thirds of General Mills’ greenhouse gas emissions and 99 percent of water use occur outside the company’s operations, primarily in agriculture. Because of this, the company says it can have the greatest impact by working with industry partners and non-governmental agencies across the supply chain to identify new sustainable sourcing programs.
Since 2010, General Mills and the World Wildlife Fund have been working together to integrate sustainability into the company’s supply chain, conducting a supply risk analysis of the company’s agricultural sourcing and water risk assessment.
In addition, General Mills says its partners include other industry groups such as Field-to-Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and Bonsucro as well as non-governmental organizations like The Nature Conservancy and CARE.
Earlier this month, General Mills signed a four-year joint commitment with supplier partner AgroMantaro to provide $1.1 million to help smallholder artichoke farmers in Peru increase yields and improve profitability.
In August, General Mills, Kraft Foods and Monsanto were among the first companies to join a project that aims to develop a comprehensive database for food and beverage life cycle assessments (LCAs).
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