At a Glance Social Responsibility
Our mission: Championing Healthier & Responsible Food. For All, For Good.
We articulate this mission by acting responsibly and respectfully every step of the way, from our farms to your fork: making delicious, nutritious cheeses whilst minimizing our impact on the world around us. Our energies are centred around 4 strategic pillars – Sustainable Farming, Caring Nutrition, Community/People Well-being & Environmental Footprint. We have tangible targets for each of these commitments…scroll down to discover more about them, and what they mean for the UK business or click here to see our global targets.
We are committed to making our dairy farms as sustainable as can be, setting standards of excellence for tomorrow. We are supported & guided in this by the World Wildlife Fund.
We’ve even co-written our ‘Sustainable Upstream Dairy Charter with the WWF. You can read more detail about it here or see below for some examples of what it means for the UK business.
Our goals range from minimising our environmental footprint on the farms to working with partner-farmers to ensure high standards of animal welfare.
Some examples of what this means in practice:
Our Free-Grazing promise: All our Leerdammer® cheese slices use milk from herds which graze freely in the fields (for a minimum of 6 hours each day, for 120 days a year; when it’s very hot or very cold, or wet, they shelter in stables nearby). You can read more about the Leerdammer® Free-Grazing promise here.
Our ‘Best Practice in Agriculture’ charter: In France, where many of our cheeses are made, our partner-farmers all adhere to the French ‘Best Practice in Agriculture’ charter, which sets standards in areas such as animal health & well-being, feed, avoidance of stress and injury and environmental protection. Our partner-farmers in other locations follow similar guidelines.
Supporting our Partner farmers: We guarantee many of our partner-farmers fixed prices for milk, and incentivise best practice in sustainable farming. An example of this is our agreement with the French milk producers’ group, ABPO, which has recently been extended. Read more about it here.
For more information about how we exemplify sustainable farming practices, and our partnership with the WWF please click here.
We’re working to enhance our products all the time to help our consumers live and eat more healthily, wherever they are in the world.
Our targets in this field range from developing products which are affordable in emerging countries to simplifying our ingredients list, always ensuring that our products are delicious, nutritious and loved by our consumers.
Our UK ranges benefit from this, for example because we:
Use high quality ingredients
Offer all our core brands in portions or slices, to help consumers know how much they’re eating
Develop new products, for example Mini Babybel Mini Rolls which meet Public Health England’s recommendation for snacks to be less than 100 calories. In fact, almost all of our snack ranges are well below Public Health England’s recommended 100 calorie cap.
‘Wellbeing’ encompasses everything from looking after our staff and participating positively in the communities in which we operate, to doing the right thing for our consumers, our suppliers and our partners.
In fact, Our Code of Good Business Practice runs through everything we do and we’ve long been a signatory to the UN Global Compact. You can read our Code of Good Business Practice here.
Specifically, here in the UK, we are very proud of:
Our Staff Wellbeing Teams: The Health & Wellbeing Group organises monthly activities – recently we’ve enjoyed talks on sleep management, back posture at work, as well as free massages, group walks and a weekly fruit delivery. Our Community Team organises events such as our Christmas party for staff and their children.
Our Support for Comic Relief …we’ve raised a magnificent £1m for Comic Relief’s good causes in the UK & abroad since 1999 . Along the way, we’ve sung, danced, baked, jumped, told jokes (we even hold our own Guinness World record for those) …in short, had a lot of fun….and helped tackle some of the world’s most challenging issues.
Our Partnership with a Charity of the Year: In 2019, we supported Rays of Sunshine, a charity ‘granting wishes’ to children with serious or life-limiting illnesses, UK-wide; In 2020 we will support FareShare, fighting against hunger and food waste.
- CSR Award nominee FBBA 2019: we had the great honour of being one of only three shortlisted companies for the CSR award at the Franco British Business Awards in 2019.
We recognise that everything we do has an impact. We’ve set ourselves challenging targets, throughout the full product life-cycle. For example,by 2025 we aim to make our operations carbon neutral: we have programmes to reduce the amount of water we use,even to use no water at all. We’ve reduced our factory emissions by 39% since 2008 and our water consumption by 1/3rd (per metric tonne of cheese produced).
It’s a collective effort, however and Bel have signed up with other responsible companies to the UN Compact/WWF*- sponsored Science Based Targets Initiative …committing to cutting the greenhouse effect of the entire value chain and help keep the global temperature increase to less than 2 degrees C.
*(Along with CDP & World Resources Institute)
More Responsible Packaging
A challenge for everyone, we’re working hard to make our packaging more responsibly. Our target is to make 100% of our packaging recyclable and/or biodegradable by 2025.
We’re proud that since May 2019 Leerdammer Packaging has been:
100% recyclable (tray and lid)
24% made from recycled plastic
These changes represent about 283 tons of new PET and 225 tons of packaging weight saved in a year*.