Taste Good – Be Good: Food with a Purpose for People, for Planet and for Business

Fazer Group

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 10. Reduced Inequalities 14. Life Below Water 15. Life on Land

Overview

Fazer has committed to accomplishing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by developing and implementing plans for 16 out of the 17 SDGs.

Author

Ase Fagerlund

Ase Fagerlund

School

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Professor

David Cooperrider

David Cooperrider

Innovation

Fazer’s core goals for reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals through food are 1) 50% fewer emissions, 2) 50% less food waste, 3) 100 % sustainably sourced and 4) more plant-based. Fazer is working to incorporate sustainability in its supply chain, starting from its vendors and ending at its consumers.

Taste Good – Be Good: Food with a Purpose for People, for Planet and for Business

Inspiration

In 1891, the young Karl Fazer opened his first café in Helsinki, Finland. Karl Fazer had a kind heart. He cared for his employees by arranging common dinners for all staff and providing housing to them. He also cared for the community, where he founded the only company-owned kindergarten in the country. Additionally, he loved nature and would help finance bird protection areas in the archipelago.

Overall impact

Today, Fazer has grown into an international family-owned company offering a wide variety of products, including bakery, confectionery, biscuit and grain products, plant-based meals, non-dairy products, and on-the-go food & drinks. As a global corporation, Fazer owns many food and café services in 9 countries and exports many of its products to around 40 countries. As Fazer says, "they are a fraction of the whole chain of suppliers to consumers." In their SDG work, they are hoping to focus on what they can do together with their suppliers as well as on how to help their consumers make better choices. Fazer hopes to engage their sustainability work more broadly and prevent “cherry-picking” a few SDGs to accomplish. As a result, Fazer has committed to sustainability by developing and implementing plans to reach 16 out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Business benefit

Fazer has committed to sustainability by developing and implementing plans for 16 out of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In 2018, Fazer Group had net sales of 1.6 billion euros and more than 15,000 employees.

Social and environmental benefit

Fazer Food Services has been able to reduce its CO2 emissions in energy by 40% since 2011. Fazer has reduced its food waste by 42 % since 2016. Fazer has also developed a new series of oat-based products to increase non-dairy, plant-based meals and reduce meat consumption to mitigate climate impact. A recent example of sustainability work comes from the Fazer oat mills. In the factories, oat hulls are a side stream of the oat milling process. Fazer is currently investing in a new factory, which will use brand-new technology to extract xylitol from the oat hulls as a step towards enhanced sustainability and circular economy. The xylitol will then be used in their own products. (SDGs 3,7,8,9,12,13,15)

In both Finland and Russia, Fazer sponsors SOS-villages for poor children and children taken into custody. In addition to the sponsorship, Fazer invites children from the SOS-villages to their visitor center and try to offer job opportunities in their factories when the children have grown up. (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 10)

Fazer was the first food industry company to make a Finnish water stewardship commitment, taking care of the sustainability of water use and assessing water risks in their value chains. Fazer has also made a commitment to the Baltic Sea Action Group, focusing on sustainable grain farming to keep seawater free of fertilizers and pesticides. Their aim is that by 2025, all the grain used by Fazer bakeries in Finland and Sweden will meet the Sustainable Grain Farming Principles. Fazer also follows the WWF Seafood list on protected species. (SDGs 6,7,13,14,17)

Fazer uses 100% sustainable cocoa, 100% RSPO certified palm oil and 100% sustainable certified soy. They source cocoa both through their own direct programs and UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade Cocoa Program -certified cocoa. Approximately 20% of the world's cocoa farmers work in co-operation with certification organizations, which means that the supply of certified cocoa is insufficient to cover the needs of chocolate producers. Farmers outside the certification programs are actually the poorest farmers.

Fazer says it is vitally important to them to ensure the well-being of both cocoa crops and farmers so that they can continue to make delicious chocolate responsibly. The future of cocoa farming is threatened by a number of factors such as outdated farming practices, climate change, and pests. It is also important to expose the younger generations in the cocoa-growing business. Therefore, Fazer has developed its own farmer programs and certification programs. Fazer’s farmer programs include 4,500 farmers in Nigeria and 1,500 farmers in the Ivory Coast. The farmer programs address the social and environmental aspects of cocoa farming and support farming communities.

Fazer has been engaging and helpful to the community. The organization encourages women to participate in this training to improve their livelihoods and income. For example, Fazer trains women on how to make soap and how to grow cassava and other food crops. Fazer also supports community projects based on community needs. The whole community gets to vote on which project they want to implement, such as building a new school or a borehole. The improvement of occupational safety is also part of the work. Farmers are trained on proper agricultural, environmental, and social practices. For this, demo plots and nurseries for cocoa seedlings are used. In addition to training, Fazer has delivered 400 units of protective equipment and 2,000 Pelle Bongo tools. During harvesting, the cocoa pods are picked by hand and cut in half. Pelle Bongo is a harvesting tool that can replace the traditional machetes or wood batons. It is safer and more ergonomic than a knife because it provides a better way of collecting the beans of the cocoa fruit. Pelle Bongo also helps farmers improve productivity. In their farmer programs, Fazer is able to constantly monitor whether child labor is used, as they train local people for this task. This is more efficient than occasional inspections. The cost of implementing direct programs is higher than that of purchasing certified cocoa, but Fazer sees this as a necessary investment towards a reliable supply of cocoa in the future. (SDGs 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,10,12,15,17)

Interviews

Ulrika Romantschuk, Executive Vice President, Communications & Branding

Nina Elomaa, Sustainability Director

Photo of interviewee

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Fazer Group

Fazer Group

Vantaa, Worldwide

Business Website: www.fazergroup.com

Year Founded: 1891

Number of Employees: 10000+

Fazer is an international family-owned company offering bakery, confectionery, biscuit and grain products, plant-based meals, non-dairy products, on-the-go food & drinks, as well as food and café services. Fazer operates in 9 countries and exports to around 40 countries. In 2018, Fazer Group had net sales of 1.6 billion euros and more than 15,000 employees. Fazer has committed seriously to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by developing and implementing plans for 16 out of the 17 SDGs.