Angel Delight and Bisto gravy owner Premier Foods declares plan to get rid of deforestation from its supply chain
The manufacturer of Angel Delight and Mr Kipling cakes has said it wants to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain by 2030.
Premier Foods laid out the goal in its ‘Enriching Life Plan’ strategy, which also includes targets for lowering its carbon footprint, donating to those in food poverty, and providing healthier meals to customers.
Within the next four years, the company, which also owns Bisto gravy and Loyd Grossman sauces, hopes that all its packaging will be reusable, compostable, or recyclable and that deforestation will disappear from its palm oil or meat supply.
Ambitions: Premier Foods’ Enriching Life Plan strategy includes targets for lowering its carbon footprint, donating to those in food poverty, and providing healthier meals to customers
By the end of the decade, it aims to halve its food waste, completely stamp out deforestation from its supply chain and reduce so-called Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 42 per cent.
Scope 1 emissions refer to greenhouse gas emissions deriving from operations directly run by a firm, while Scope 2 covers indirect emissions produced by the energy it purchases to power those operations.
Premier Foods’ chief executive Alex Whitehouse said: ‘Over the last few years, we have made some very good progress against our previous ESG strategy, and we are proud of the achievements that we have made so far.
‘We have evolved rapidly as a business over the last eighteen months, and we now have ambitions which are much bigger and bolder. So today, we are launching a new ESG strategy which reflects this ambition.’
The St. Albans-based company also wishes by 2030 to more than triple its sales of annual plant-based products from about £78million currently, partly through launching new ranges like its upcoming Batchelors meat-free meal pots.
Among the plant-based products it sells include meat-free Oxo cubes, Sharwood’s vegan tikka and korma cooking sauce, and flapjacks and cakes from its Plantastic snacking range.
Sweet treats: Premier Foods manufactures the powdered dessert Angel Delight (pictured)
This target will run in parallel with an ambition to more than double the yearly trade in products ‘that meet high nutritional standards’ from around £300million at present.
‘We firmly believe that we should take responsibility for helping to support a healthier planet, for delivering new product options to help consumers eat more healthily and in caring for our colleagues and communities,’ Whitehouse remarked.
The third pillar of Premier Foods’ strategy focuses on serving its employees and underserved communities and includes a target to have a gender-balanced senior management.
It stated that it wants to donate 1 million meals to people living in food poverty by 2030 and 1,000 employee days each year towards working for charitable causes.
Skills training is another core element of the pillar – the business declared its intention to spend money improving the skills of its workers as well as the unemployed and those from disadvantaged groups.
Analysts at Shore Capital said: ‘Sustainability is, we believe, going to play an ever more important role in modern food supply chains, alongside animal welfare, convenience and well-being, in that respect it is pleasing to see the enhanced commitments being made by the Premier Foods board today.’
Shares in Premier Foods closed trading 0.9 per cent lower at 109.8p on Friday.