Sustainability Practices & Recommendations: Kraft Foods Inc

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“Sustainability Practices & Recommendations: Kraft Foods Inc”

SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES & RECOMMENDATIONS: KRAFT FOODS INC

Introduction

“Kraft Foods Inc is a global snacks powerhouse with an unrivaled portfolio of brands [and] annual revenues of approximately $50 billion” (AnnualReports.com, 2012). They are the second largest food distributer in the world, the largest packaged food distributer in the United States, and they are currently enjoying a 54% rise in profit from their previous quarter (Reuters, 2012a). When compared to their competitors, Kraft Foods Inc’s (Kraft/Kraft Foods) sustainability practices are above-standard. They even enjoy a high-level of employee satisfaction (TheGlassDoor.com, 2012). Unfortunately, there are vital areas of sustainability that Kraft Foods neglects almost completely. They have a history of litigation as a result of misleading advertising, they willfully disregard the post-consumer waste that results when their customers use their products, and they’re a key participant in the industrial agricultural system that unsustainably insists on the homogeneity of our food supply. Once these shortfalls are understood however, specific measures can be taken to correct these unsustainable practices.

Analysis

Current Sustainability Practices:

Kraft is currently conducting a number of sustainability measures which they began championing in earnest in 2005, in which they set various sustainability goals to be completed within the next 5 years. During that time period, their company-wide energy use was reduced by 16%, CO2 emissions were lowered 30%, incoming water use was reduced by 42%, net waste overall dropped 42%, and 60 million miles were eliminated from their global transportation network through more efficient shipping procedures (KraftFoodsCompany.com, 2011). After achieving these goals, Kraft then set new goals to be obtained within another 5 years to increase sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities by 25%, reduce energy use, CO2 emissions, water consumption and waste in manufacturing plants by 15% overall, and reduce another 50 million miles from their transportation network (KraftFoodsCompany.com, 2011).

Kraft is also committed to the prevention of deforestation, a significant cause of which is from coffee and palm oil agriculture. They are a key participant in the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) council “to enforce standards for sustainable palm oil production” by purchasing 50% of their palm oil from RSPO certified palm oil suppliers, with intentions on purchasing 100% of their palm oil from RSPO certified palm oil suppliers by 2015 (KraftFoodsCompany.com, 2011). Similarly, Kraft is a member of the 4C Association, which regulates sustainable coffee production, and plans to purchase 100% of their coffee for their European brands from sustainable coffee growers by 2015 as well.

Finally, Kraft has taken steps to fulfill the “people” portion of the triple-bottom-line model by taking measures to make their products, and thus their consumers, healthier. Snack-foods are synonymous with junk food, and there is no special technique for making unhealthy food healthy, but Kraft is “dedicated to making foods people love even better through innovation” (KraftFoodsCompany.com, 2011). They do this in a number of ways, such as reformulating their products to remove trans fats, reduce sodium levels, and increase fiber, all without significantly changing the taste of their products (KraftFoodsCompany.com, 2011). They’ve also made efforts with regards to labeling and marketing by “provid[ing] nutrition labeling on all products in markets worldwide – even where it's not required by local regulations” and by following strict self-imposed marketing guidelines; they never market their products to children under the age of 6, and only market their products to children under the age of 12 that they feel are “wholesome” (KraftFoodsCompany.com,...
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