Companies are central to sustainability success

Published: 05/07/2021

On the occasion of the launch of the EU Code of Conduct, our President Marco Settembri and Nestlé CEO Zone EMENA, wrote the following article.

Food manufacturing businesses will be central to meeting the EU’s Green Deal ambitions to address the climate emergency, environmental degradation, rising obesity and more.

That’s why I’m delighted that the EU Code of Conduct for responsible food business and marketing practices has been launched with a key component focused on how companies can make ambitious commitments towards sustainable food systems.

The Code provides a framework for individual companies to make tangible, relevant and measurable progress, with an annual report on progress made. 

With my FoodDrinkEurope hat on, I’m proud to see our industry providing the leadership to develop the Code alongside our food chain partners. And in my Nestle role, I’m pleased to announce our own ambitious commitments to the Code. 

Many other companies either already have or will soon be submitting their own commitments to the Code. As a snapshot of how the FoodDrinkEurope membership is already contributing to greater sustainability you can see this landing page with over 400 case study examples.

It is important to recognise that the food and drink manufacturing industry is vast and diverse, made up of 291,000 businesses and employing nearly 5 million people. Just over 99% of these businesses are small and medium-sized, with the majority employing fewer than 10 people. Often the most innovative and agile, these businesses have a role to play in making the food system sustainable and resilient to future disruptions like Covid 19.

Signing up to the Code is the next step in a long journey. The hard work must now continue in earnest, and I urge all food and drink businesses, the wider food chain and policymakers, to help make the Code a success. This is our opportunity to make Europe the gold standard on food sustainability, and to provide true global leadership.