SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Our mission: Championing Healthier & Responsible Food for All.

We articulate this mission by acting responsibly and respectfully every step of the way, aiming to  minimise our impact on the world around us.

Check out our focus areas and targets and what they mean for the UK business, below.

Our mission: Championing Healthier & Responsible Food for All.

We articulate this mission by acting responsibly and respectfully every step of the way, aiming to  minimise our impact on the world around us.

Check out our focus areas and targets and what they mean for the UK business, below.

Short_Highlight Focus Long_Highlight Pillars

We have tangible targets for each of these commitments…scroll down to discover more about them, and what they mean for the UK business.

SUSTAINABLE FARMING
CARING NUTRITION
ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
COMMUNITY WELLBEING

Sustainable Farming

We are committed to making our dairy farms as sustainable as can be, setting standards of excellence for tomorrow.

 

Our aim is to make our dairy farms as sustainable as can be, setting standards of excellence for tomorrow.  Some examples of what this means for the UK business:

    • 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 how we are supported & guided in this by the World Wildlife Fund please click here.

Caring Nutrition

We’re working to enhance our products all the time to help our consumers live and eat more healthily, especially the most vulnerable …the young and the very oldest

Our targets in nutrition 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  because we:

  • Use high quality ingredients:
  • Offer all our core brands in portions or slices, to help consumers know how much they’re eating. Our cheese portions are nutrient dense – often a single serving is rich in calcium, protein and vitamin D, whilst typically being lower in fat than Cheddar.
  • 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.
  • Develop new products which address deficiencies amongst specific population groups– such as the elderly; a single 40g serving of our Special Formula The Laughing Cow Cheese spread contains 100% of an adult’s Vitamin D needs, and is rich in protein and calcium too.

Environmental Footprint

We recognise that everything we do has an impact. 

We’ve set ourselves challenging environmental targets, throughout the full product life-cycle.  For example, by 2025 we aim to make all 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 global temperature increase to less than 2 degrees C.

*Along with CDP & World Resources Institute

More responsible packaging is a challenge for everyone, we’re working hard to make our packaging more responsible.  Our target is to make 100% of our packaging recyclable and/or biodegradable by 2025.

We’re proud that since May 2019 Leerdammer Slices packaging is:

  • 100% recyclable (tray and lid)
  • 24% already recycled
  • 10% lighter

These changes represent about 283 tons of new PET and 225 tons of packaging weight saved in a year**.

**Source: Quantis report, 2018, results for 17 countries in Europe, across all formats, only on packaging, excluding the cheese and refrigerated storage stage

Community Wellbeing

Positive participation in our communities and looking after our staff, communities, partners and suppliers

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:

  • Times 1-star accreditation 2018:Our staff have rated us ‘very good’ on a whole host of topics including leadership, personal growth opportunities, getting a fair deal, their wellbeing.
  • Our Staff Wellbeing Teams: The Health & Wellbeing Group organises monthly activities – recently we’ve enjoyed talks on Stress Management and Healthy Eating as well as free massages and Group Walks. 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 their 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 3 shortlisted companies for the CSR award at the Franco British Business Awards in 2019.