Producing What Matters Most: A Look at Sustainability and Transparency in Food Production

February 2022

Today’s consumer is more focused on where and how their food is produced than ever before. The proof is in the numbers:

  • 83%1 of consumers think companies should be actively shaping ESG best practices
  • 91%1 of business leaders believe their company has a responsibility to act on ESG issues
  • 86%1 of employees prefer to support or work for companies that care about the same issues they do

 

When your business does more good for the world, customers recognize it. It starts with your technical production processes,the ways you prioritize sustainability, and the methods you employ to remain transparent and honest about the food you make. At Chaucer Foods, those efforts are top-of-mind every day and in every one of our facilities.

We spoke with Dale Williams, Technical Manager, Chaucer Foods UK, for more on how the global brand is building deeper connections with customers and consumers by focusing on the things they care about — and building it into what they produce.

Q: How do freeze-dried ingredients fit the consumer demand for sustainability and transparency?

A:It’s a top-to-bottom process and it runs the full length of our supply chain. We developed a robust supply plan and we connect directly with growers from around the world to ensure that workers maintain Chaucer Foods’ sustainable practices.

Sustainability isn’t just about the end product being produced; it’s about everything that happens to the ingredients. It can be difficult to make sure that what we offer comes from sustainable companies, but it benefits the end result. The types and volume of ingredients need to be sourced responsibly and companies can ensure that happens by developing common-sense, understanding standards and then making sure those standards are adhered to..

Q: What impact do you think consumer interest in sustainability has on corporate standards for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)?
A:It’s a big influence. But we as companies also need to do more to educate consumers about the sustainable practices we follow. A lot of times consumers dont understand the inner workings of the supply chain and that’s where transparency on our part comes in. Chaucer can show consumers what “sustainable” is — we can share what it looks like, how it comes about, the challenges that we work every day to overcome to ensure we are meeting the mark that our customers demand.

Q: How does Chaucer Foods address supply chain transparency issues?

A:The most important thing is making sure there is end-to-end visibility. That way we can trace the ingredients all the way through the supply chain — from their source right up to when a consumer makes a purchase. This does decrease where and how we can purchase raw materials — not all locations around the world abide by the standards we’ve set — but by making it a focus of how we do business, I think it offers the customer an added layer of trust. We even go so far as to promote the ways we source and the standards we hold our partners, and ourselves, to on our website for everyone to see. When you do business with Chaucer Foods, you are a part of a business supply chain dedicated to doing things the right way.

Q: Looking ahead, in what ways is Chaucer Foods continuing to develop and reimagine its current technical production processes to meet the needs and challenges of the next decade within the food and beverage ingredients sector?
A:We’re always looking to improve processes. It’s important to all of us at Chaucer Foods that we do things better tomorrow than we did yesterday. A lot of that effort comes by staying close to our customers, knowing what they need, while being aware of new and emerging consumer trends. When you know what someone wants, you can deliver on those expectations.

Food producers should look to improve internal processes so they
can do more with less. This includes the energy you use and the
materials you buy. We’ve started to employ enhanced lean
manufacturing processes in our U.K. facilities and that’s been an effort we’re rolling out in the U.S. and other sites around the world.

Is sustainability and transparency a top focus of your food and beverage brand? Contact us at customer.services@chaucerfoods.com to connect with our team and discover new ways to make these top consumer priorities a focal point of your business.

1“Beyond compliance: Consumers and employees want business to do more on ESG,” PWC. 2021.

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