Infographic: General Mills raises stakes on sustainably-sourced ingredients

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. has committed to sustainably source 100% of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020. The ingredients — oats, wheat, corn, dairy, cocoa, vanilla, palm oil, sugar cane, sugar beets and fiber packaging — represent 50% of General Mills’ total raw material purchases.

The commitment builds on the company’s sustainability mission to conserve and protect the resources upon which its business depends.

“General Mills is committed to creating long-term value for our business, and our society,” said Ken Powell, chief executive officer of General Mills. “Producing enough food to feed an increasingly hungry world will require not only innovation and dedication, but also careful attention to the impact of agriculture on our environment.”

Click the infographic to learn more about the specific commitments by ingredient area.

The announcement comes about five months after General Mills published its “2013 Global Responsibility Report.” In that report, the company discussed the four-step sourcing model it is following to improve the sustainability of the raw materials it uses to make its products. At that time, the company said it was currently in the “strategy formation” stage for 6 of the raw materials — corn, dairy, oats, sugar (sugar beets and sugarcane), fiber packaging and cocoa — and the “transformation” stage for 4 of the raw materials — vanilla, eggs, wheat and palm oil. All 10 of the raw materials have moved through the “assessment” stage, and all 10 are on track for the “monitoring and evaluation” stage.

General Mills was furthest along in its work in palm oil and wheat.

“As a food company, we know that the vitality of our business depends upon access to high-quality ingredients,” said Jerry Lynch, vice-president and chief sustainability officer at General Mills. “We also know where we can have the greatest impact from an environmental standpoint. We believe that through sustainable sourcing, we can create the most long-term economic, environmental and social value.”
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