Rome, 1 July 2019 – "The drastic change that is affecting dairy farming – says Gianpiero Calzolari, Chairman of Granarolo – is redefining the characteristics of the main production areas: the agricultural world will be the real protagonist of this process to the extent that it will be able to grow with the responsible awareness of its strategic role. At Granarolo, we want to offer a high-quality food range that supports the growth of producers and preserves our natural resources”.
This is Granarolo's basic principle, which has now prompted a debate on the sustainability policies linked to the agricultural food supply chains, the wealth and heritage of the Italian territory, with the Minister of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Tourism, Gian Marco Centinaio, and speeches from Prof. Enrico Giovannini, Spokesman for Asvis, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development, Fulvio Guarneri, the Chairman of Unilever Italia, and Ettore Prandini, the National Chairman of Coldiretti.
The initiative arose from the awareness of the importance of the UN's 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the urgency for food companies and institutions to make major decisions through systemic initiatives on the production chains. In practical terms, this can be achieved by means of laws that support the durability of products and their preservation, together with a taxation that does not impact labour, but rather the energy and the materials used. The aim is to create responsible players throughout the supply chain. Therefore, the initiative has been extended to include agricultural and dairy businesses and national and regional institutions.
Below are the details of Granarolo’s three objectives that address sustainable development goal 12, Responsible Consumption and Production.
#1 INCREASED ANIMAL WELFARE AT THE STABLES
Objective: to achieve a minimum score of 70/100 of animal welfare for all the stables in the Granarolo-Granlatte supply chain that are already certified, accompanied by a more attentive management of the use of drugs, to reduce their use and improve their therapeutic effectiveness.
We have organized training meetings with farmers in all the regions where Granlatte-Granarolo is present and meetings with company veterinarians, providing training credits.
In 2018 Granarolo Granlatte was awarded the CSQA DTP122 Animal Welfare Certification no. 53024 for all the stables of its 700 farmers.
The new goal that Granlatte-Granarolo has set itself for the next three years is to raise the bar by increasing animal welfare scores above 70/100 for all the stables (to date this score has been achieved by 336 stables, accounting for 63% of the milk delivered).
In parallel, we will work with company veterinarians to introduce preventive measures and to manage drug use to improve their therapeutic effectiveness and reduce their use.
"To achieve these goals – continues Gianpiero Calzolari – we will invest to ensure that our farmers are increasingly an active part of the change. The Granlatte cooperative has already started an in-depth debate with its members to develop its own participatory Strategic Plan in line with the directions of Agriculture 4.0 and comprehensive sustainability (reduction of environmental impact at the stables, animal welfare, reduction of water and energy consumption)".
#2 PLASTIC REDUCTION
Objective: Reduction of 3,787 tonnes of CO2 eq. in 3 years, the amount generated for the annual lighting of a city of 54,726 inhabitants.
a. Drastic reduction in the weight of primary and secondary packaging,
b. Use of recycled plastic for milk bottles and cheese packages,
c. Recovery of milk packaging returned from the market,
d. Testing of alternative materials to plastics.
At the same time, Granarolo wants to create reward mechanisms with consumers and retailers that can encourage the collection and recycling of plastic.
We have already implemented many initiatives to reduce the weight of the primary and secondary plastic packaging of milk and dairy products. In March, the Group launched on the market the first milk bottle in Italy made of 20% recycled plastic; in June it will increase to 25% and by the end of the year it will be 50% for all bottles. At the beginning of the year, we started recovering plastic bottles from the marketplace, initially sent to waste-to-energy plants or landfills, and at the same time, experiments are underway on alternative materials to plastic, also working jointly with young start-ups.
"The real challenge – continues Calzolari – will be to involve consumers in the collection of plastic food packaging that we can use to make other bottles, without intermediate steps”.
#3 AN ANTI-WASTE PLAN
Granarolo has launched an anti-waste plan on milk and dairy products working with institutions, customers, and consumers. The objective to pursue together is a 10% reduction of the returns from the Italian market (an estimated 123,000 tonnes of returns from the market of fresh milk and dairy products in Italy), which amounts to a reduction of 1,400 tonnes of CO2 eq, i.e. the amount generated for the annual lighting of a city of about 20,000 inhabitants.
a. Lengthening the shelf-life of products,
b. Campaign for more sustainable management of products at home,
c. Campaign on new uses for products about to reach the end of their shelf life,
d. Campaign for proper disposal.
Milk and dairy products contribute significantly to food waste. They can amount to between 4 and 8% of the category's sales. Currently, at best, products withdrawn from the point of sale, subject to having respected the cold chain and still being intact, can be recovered as a by-product to be used for animal feed. Lengthening shelf-life could reduce food waste, taking into account the great amount of work that has been done, starting from the stables to improve the quality of the milk at source and along the cold chain to preserve its organoleptic characteristics, also thanks to the new technologies available.
An extended shelf life would allow high-consumption families to keep some stock, purchasing the amount of products needed to cover a week's needs with a single weekly visit to the supermarket. A virtuous competitive process of continuous improvement will benefit all stakeholders, consumers, producers, processors, and the environment.
"We are extending the shelf life of our products – concludes Calzolari. Now we need laws that promote the durability of the products and their preservation, together with a taxation that does not impact labour, but rather the energy and the materials used