Food businesses sign EU sustainability pledge

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Food firms from across the UK and EU have signed a pledge to boost sustainability in the supply chain
Food firms from across the UK and EU have signed a pledge to boost sustainability in the supply chain

Related tags Sustainability Nestlé

Nestlé, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe and Kerry Group joined more than 50 food businesses and industry bodies in signing a new European initiative to make food more sustainable.

The EU Code of Conduct for Responsible Business and Marketing Practices sets out actions that food producers, food service, retailers and others can take to make healthy and sustainable food choices easier.

On the day of the launch of the Code, 65 signatories (26 food manufacturers, 14 food retailers, 1 from the food service sector, 24 associations) pledged to follow the code. A full lsit can be found in the box below.

It will set out actions that actors “between the farm and the fork​” can voluntarily commit to undertake to tangibly improve and communicate their sustainability performance. This can include a declaration of engagement and actions in major areas, together with an agreement to progress towards sustainability goals within a defined timespan.

Shaping the food system

EC executive vice-president Frans Timmermans said: “We need to make our food system sustainable and we need to do it soon. We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and halt biodiversity loss related to food production and shape a food system that makes it easier to choose a healthy and sustainable diet.

“Addressing these environmental, health, and social challenges in our food system require cooperation across the entire food chain and I am encouraged by ambitions of the stakeholders who have already signed up to the EU Code of Conduct.”  

Nestlé is contributing with a wide-ranging set of 23 commitment to reduce the environmental footprint of products while contributing to healthy and nutritious diets.

Nutritious products

It hoped to achieve by adding more nutritious products to its portfolio and roll out the Nutri-Score nutrition labelling system across Europe, where stakeholders are supportive. On the environmental side, actions would include support for regenerative agriculture as well as a shift to 100% renewable energy and zero emission logistics.

Bart Vandewaetere, vice president of corporate communications, said: “We are not naïve – a ‘business as usual’ approach will not be enough to deliver on our promises. Our ambition is to advance regenerative food systems at scale.

“In 2023, the EU will put forward a legislative framework for sustainable food systems that will further support our actions. As we await this important milestone, the EU Code of Conduct is a unique opportunity for the European food and drink industry to align and accelerate on joint solutions to shared problems.”

The EC intends to present the Code in the United Nations' Food Systems Summit later this year.

Code signatories

EU associations

  • AIPCE-CEP (European Association of Fish Processors - European Federation of National Organizations of Importers and Exporters of Fish)
  • COCERAL (European association of trade in cereals, oilseeds, pulses, olive oil, oils and fats, animal feed and agrosupply)
  • COPA COGECA (European farmers and European agri-cooperatives)
  • Croplife Europe
  • EU Specialty Food Ingredients
  • EuroCommerce
  • Euro Coop (European Community of Consumer Co-operatives)
  • EMF (European Flour Millers)
  • FEDIOL (EU vegetable oil and proteinmeal industry association)
  • FoodDrinkEurope
  • FoodServiceEurope
  • Freshfel (European Fresh Produce Association)
  • Independent Retail Europe
  • UECBV (European Livestock and Meat Trading Union)

Associations with concrete commitments

  • ANCC (Associazione Nazionale Cooperative di Consumatori)
  • Brewers of Europe
  • CEEV (Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins)
  • ESA (European Snacks Association)
  • FEDEPESCA (Federación de Asociaciones Provinciales de Empresarios Detallistas de Pescados y Productos Congelados)
  • HISPACOOP (Confederación Española de Cooperativas de Consumidores y Usuarios)
  • Natural Mineral Waters Europe
  • Spirits Europe
  • UNESDA (European Soft Drinks Industry)
  • WFA (World Federation of Advertisers)


  • AB Inbev
  • Ahold Delhaize
  • Archer Daniels Midlands
  • Barilla
  • Carrefour
  • Central England Cooperative
  • Coca-Cola
  • Colruyt Group
  • Coop Italia
  • Coop Sweden
  • Danish Crown
  • Danone
  • Decathlon
  • Diageo
  • Eroski
  • Ferrero
  • Fyffes
  • Greenyard
  • ICA Gruppen
  • Jeronimo Martins
  • Kellogg's
  • Kerry Group
  • Metro AG
  • Midcounties Cooperative
  • Mondelez
  • Nestlé
  • Nomad Foods
  • Paulig Group
  • PepsiCo
  • Pernod-Ricard
  • Puratos Group
  • REWE Group
  • Royal DSM
  • Sodexo
  • Suntory Beverage & Food Europe
  • Syngenta
  • Tesco
  • Unilever
  • Viterra
  • Yara International

Related topics Supply Chain

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