This business had a clear idea of what they wanted to change and what they wanted to improve with respect to this part of the market. They improved their products by changing the materials used for the cover of meat; this contributes to more than one SDG such as the one of responsibility for production and consumption.
JULIA Río Torcal
Blanca Rilo Estévez
Juan Carlos Torres Crespo
Universidad de Navarra
Isabel Rodriguez Tejedo
For Viscofan innovation is key, as Jose Angel Arraras said in the interview “innovation is the key to our success”.
Innovation emerged from the R+D+i group (more than 100 people around the world), as well as other departments that are participating.
The innovative aspect of Viscofan is their capacity to replace animal casings as well as flat films for the Food Industry, which are essential ingredients for the food sector as for the production of sausages. For this elaboration, they are the only ones with the whole casing portfolio (Cellulose, Fibrous, Collagen, and Plastics) that are used in the production of cold meats.
Viscofan has more than 40 years of history, it was founded in 1975. Since then they have been offering solutions that change the casings market.
They contribute to SDG 12. By promoting energy efficiency throughout the value chain, as they want to make sure every single part of the process follows responsible steps for the environment and the workers. In fact, they even have food safety and quality certifications. Their production policy in proximity through a production presence of up to 22 factories, contributes to reducing the impact of transportation on the environment. Moreover, Viscofan invests in technologies that enable production with less production waste. We could see firsthand how committed Viscofan is to the SDGs.
They say that production processes, products, sales… are continuously being innovated by the experts in the company. We wanted to know how they could keep innovating and some tips and this was the answer provided: “Thinking the whole day about it: new ways to produce, new products, new raw materials, running machines faster, cost reduction…” In a nutshell, an endless process, in which conformity does not exist.
We had a Zoom interview, due to Covid and precaution measures.
Viscofan is a benchmark in research, development, and innovation in both technology and product, which allows it to lead the advances of the sector worldwide. Its products are characterized by their simplicity of use and appearance, which contrasts with the high technological component that resides in the production process and that only a small number of companies have developed worldwide. All this was mentioned to us in the interview, justifying that the idea of all this came from a need for a change, since as he mentions "The founders of this company noticed that companies carried out a process so common and important, such as one of the sausages for which they decided to change it ".
He also constantly mentioned the idea that tried to eliminate the controversy behind the sausages and contamination, generating new methods to produce the same products but being much more careful with the environment, suggesting that the purpose of the company was to innovate in the market and also help the environment.
Viscofan had a very important impact in every aspect but as Jose Angel remarked “our enterprise had a very important impact of the innovation on the business”, this was due to the fact that they are the leaders and the most profitable company in their sector. In addition, it also has an impact on society because they have an R+D group that allows them to lead part of the world, like their high quality.
The innovation of Viscofan, the capacity to replace animal casings with artificial ones, has helped them to gain more than 84% of their revenues from packaging made from natural, biodegradable or recycled materials.
Moreover, they have achieved that 100% of their suppliers of abaca pulp and paper have forest sustainability certification, PFEC, or FSC.
We could appreciate how committed they are to Responsible Consumption and Production.
Talking about your own enterprise in which you work, it is easy to give a good perception to consumers, therefore you need some proof in order to make others believe in what you say. For that, several projects demonstrated that for example, they have reduced drastically their water consumption. This solution they experimented with is potentially scalable as they could use it on a bigger scale in other places, and try to show their methodology to give examples of how to preserve the planet as they do. In addition, this type of solution not only supports a developed country but also helps the underdeveloped ones.
Due to the fact that Viscofan is not only the leader and most profitable company in the sector but also, by being concerned about the environment Viscofan has a better image in the market in comparison to other companies that do not care about the consequences of their actions on the earth, as mentioned by Jose Ángel in the interview, this is high in part because of the vast innovation of their processes.
Jose Ángel ensures that in the near future the additional costs that Viscofan incurs in order to decrease its damage to the planet will be compensated by the benefit generated by this process.
Viscofan is extremely interested in creating a positive impact in the environment including social aspects that would benefit the enterprise and the community. This is the reason why they are cooperating with the Paris Agreement (an accord that establishes measures in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions), to be able to avoid the consequences of climate change which includes a rising temperature above 2 degrees celsius. The company claims this sustainable future would be able to confront the different challenges that cause damage to the environment. To accomplish this, they would optimize the use of water in the production process, they would recycle raw materials, and use renewable sources in a sustainable and efficient way.
In addition, they have also helped society in great ways due to the fact that they have adopted a great commitment with human rights, as they have a very responsible way of managing their operations and staff, generating positive impacts in the communities they operate. In the COVID-19 pandemic, Viscofan decided to help different institutions through the donation of sanitary products and resources that are able to protect the individual from the virus, without mentioning that they had and are still making donations to a lot of organizations that are fighting against starvation. To sum up, the company desires to contribute, in the best possible way, all their resources to make a better world for future generations.
Jose Angel Arraras, Research and development manager
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Business Website: https://www.viscofan.com/es/
Year Founded: 1975
Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000
Viscofan, the Spanish meat casing leader with a market share of more than 40%. They create artificial casings which replace the animal ones as well as flat films for the Food Industry.
They have their headquarters in Navarra (Spain) while their factories and commercial offices are spread in more than 15 countries (Canada, USA, Mexico, Brasil, China… among many others).