Creating a Responsible Supply Chain

Climate-related events are accelerating in frequency and the impact they have on our daily lives is becoming more and more prevalent.  However, no person or organisation can tackle climate change alone. Together, through creating a responsible supply chain, we can take the right action toward reducing carbon emissions and reinvesting in our environment and local communities.

Driven by our long-term goal of achieving net zero by 2050 and net zero across all sites by 2030, we at Meadow, are steadfast in our mission to tackle climate change. From farm to fork, we’ve been implementing innovative solutions from recyclable packaging to sustainable agriculture – all of which ensures that our supply chain stays resilient and keeps as green, ethical and responsible as possible.

Why We’re Taking Ownership of Our Supply Chain

To Guarantee Supply Chain Resiliency

A sustainable supply chain ensures resiliency by engaging in fair labour practices, reducing reliance on finite resources, reducing waste and optimising current operations. When people are treated fairly and resources are managed responsibly, the supply chain becomes more robust and adaptable to shocks and disruptions such as natural disasters. This not only protects our business and customers, but also secures people’s livelihoods.

Going back to our routes as dairy traders, we’ve made sure that our dairy farmers feel valued and supported. In 2023, we launched a farmer engagement programme where we have begun to host a series of regular face-to-face producer meetings so that we can hear what our producers need from Meadow and agree on collaborative ways to drive forward our shared sustainability goals.

To Meet Consumer Demands

More than ever before, consumers are becoming aware of the unethical practices that exist in supply chains. This may be deforestation, child labour, forced labour and gender discrimination. As consumers become more informed, they are expecting companies to become more transparent and to use their social power to drive sustainable innovation and operations.

In fact, market data shows that 62% of people say they ‘always or often’ seek products to purchase because they are sustainable, whilst 84% of customers say that poor environmental practices have alienated them from a brand or company.

At Meadow, we’re more than happy to showcase our targets, progress and challenges when it comes to our ESG strategy. We can demonstrate that we are learning from best practices and are open to receiving feedback from stakeholders.

To Keep Us Innovative

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that our ESG strategy has challenged us to think creatively. Taking ownership of our supply chain has encouraged us to implement new practices and invest in new technologies that drive efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.

Here are just three out of a number of stories concerning our carbon reduction journey:

To Provide the Best Possible Support for Our People

Our aim is to be a company which is a great place to work and an employer of choice for top talent. We understand that our success, especially when it comes to sustainability, is driven by our highly valued and motivated teams across our site. So, we know how important it is to keep the health, safety and wellbeing of our people as a number one priority.

To name a few of our employee wellbeing initiatives, we have introduced:

To Reduce Impact on Developing Communities

Poor environmental practices have devastating long-term impacts on ecosystems and immediate impacts on local communities. Farming practices that lead to deforestation and environmental degradation can make it difficult for communities to stay in their homes, leading to displacement. By promoting sustainable agricultural practices and protecting natural ecosystems, we help ensure that communities can remain in their homes and maintain their way of life.

At Meadow, we are taking responsibility for our suppliers. For example, when sourcing ingredients such as cocoa, we make sure to purchase through Rainforest Alliance and Fair-Trade certified sources only. This has been a full commitment since 2022 and ensures that cocoa farms must engage in best practice for protecting farmland and provide robust tools that prevent child labour, forced labour and other poor working conditions. What’s more, farms must be proactively improving opportunities for smaller farmers and forest communities.

To Help Our Customers Meet Their Own ESG Strategies

In the UK, we’re all on a roadmap to Net Zero by 2050. With this increasing focus on sustainability, regulatory bodies are implementing stricter environmental and social regulations. Adopting sustainable practices ensures compliance with these regulations, avoiding fines, legal issues and disruption. At Meadow, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to stay ahead of government regulations and meet their own ESG strategic goals.

But don’t just take it from us…

It’s reassuring to see Meadow’s robust sustainability roadmap in place which helps us to deliver on our own ambition to make more nutritious and sustainable food. With our aligned goals we can collaborate and contribute to a healthier planet.

Mandy Smith, Senior Procurement Manager at Premier Foods

Want to find out more about our ESG strategy? Click here.

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