The FoodBowl's journey towards sustainability

10 Dec 2020 08:40:00

Beyond our primary sector, New Zealand’s thriving food and beverage sector accounts for 46 per cent of all export revenues. The covid-19 pandemic presents unique opportunities for the industry to collectively and collaboratively innovate new products and offerings.

Now more than ever, our thriving food and beverage sectors will be key economic lifelines for our country and our export markets as New Zealand is well positioned to produce natural, honest and trusted products, says Alexandra Allan, The FoodBowl Chief Executive. "The FoodBowl has taken the first steps in our journey to be more sustainable by working with our clients and stakeholders to meet the demands of consumers internationally, who are increasingly seeking immune boosting, healthy and sustainable products and lifestyle choices."

The FoodBowl engaged Siempre Sustainable Solutions in early 2020 to help build and execute a sustainability strategy. Allan Birch, Chief Executive at Siempre, has delivered workshops and webinars to our clients focused on sustainability since late 2019. "Under Allan’s guidance, we undertook a packaging audit to set our baseline, a materiality review which highlighted opportunities and issues for the FoodBowl, and then worked within cross-functional teams to build a strategy and roadmap, which is now being executed.

"Our project teams are measuring and working on ways we can increase our energy efficiency, reduce water consumption and reduce waste sent to landfill. We work closely with clients to fulfil these objectives. We are also developing a packaging guide, with support from our equipment and packaging suppliers. This will look at the key processes which will help our clients make informed choices for their product.

Through our popular workshops and webinars we upskill our clients and the wider industry in sustainable packaging options and practices.

"The first action of our sustainability journey was to engage with our stakeholders and staff to understand areas we could deliver value. We surveyed our clients and staff, and the results were clear: Consumer demand for sustainable food and beverage products would impact on our clients."

Challenges

The whole team at The FoodBowl was motivated to work on the sustainability targets. The challenge was in coordinating the different areas and departments of The FoodBowl.

Siempre held a workshop with our team to help guide us. The team discuss the opportunities, strengths and challenges in becoming more sustainable as listed below. Staff then identified seven key areas that we could work together on for the biggest impact.

The table below charts the ‘proposed’ ease and impact of each project.

"Siempre made sustainability easy to relate to by simplifying complex topics. Allan is easy to work with and his commercial acumen has been an asset on sustainability journey” says Alexandra Allan, FoodBowl Chief Executive.

Results