Sustainable sourcing, not merely a checkbox
Sustainable sourcing is at the very core of our business. Jeannette Rusticus, Manager Business Procurement at Debic, explains how her team strives to make a positive change.
We are committed to sourcing our dairy products in the most sustainable manner possible, both internally and externally. “Quality and sustainable farming are intertwined with our procurement process, because they have proven to reinforce each other. Some clients even opt to purchase from us specifically because of our sustainability initiatives,” Jeannette explains.
Sustainable farming encompasses a range of practices, from improving the health and welfare of cows to reducing methane emissions. Through our sustainability programme for member dairy farmers of the cooperative, we support and reward farmers for their results on climate, biodiversity and animal welfare.
Within procurement, we have several areas of focus that align with the company's overall sustainability goals. One of our key goals is responsible and sustainable sourcing. “We are proud to say that all our agricultural raw materials have been 100% sustainably sourced since 2022,” Jeannette says. “We focus on buying from companies and organizations that prioritize responsible practices, ensuring that their farmers are doing the right thing.”
Another important goal is supply chain traceability. “FrieslandCampina is an early adopter of the UTZ Certification Program for sustainable cocoa farming and played a role in accelerating the program throughout Europe. The same applies for sustainable palm oil.” By 2025, FrieslandCampina aims to reach a 95% traceability on some of our most important raw materials (palm oil, soy, pulp and paper and cocoa).
“We are proud to say that all our agricultural raw materials have been 100% sustainably sourced since 2022.”
Furthermore, the procurement team also handles energy and packaging procurement. “In the Netherlands, FrieslandCampina runs a program that enables member farmers to set up solar panels. In return, we purchase sustainable energy from them to power our factories.” When it comes to packaging, we aim to procure 100% FSC-certified carton. “Currently, we are also exploring new ways to use recyclable materials for our packaging.”
“We purchase sustainable energy from our farmers to power our factories.”
Driving a positive change: a delicate balance
“I am extremely positive about our progress,” Jeannette says. But even though our efforts pay off, sustainability comes with a higher cost. Acting responsibly and protecting our business financially has proven to be a delicate challenge.” How we can overcome this? “Sustainability is not merely a checkbox, it is about genuinely believing in our ability to create a meaningful change. If we can communicate that and showcase our achievements, I believe we can engage our partners and clients even more.”
“Sustainability is not merely a checkbox, it is about genuinely believing in our ability to create a meaningful change.”