‘Sustainable Food Systems’ is the theme of this year’s Tetra Laval Annual Report. Indeed, it is a theme that concerns our entire Group. Food systems affect both humans and the environment, and the industry groups of Tetra Laval play an active role in improving food systems around the world through their products, solutions and know-how.
The term ‘food system’ refers to the constellation of activities involved in producing, processing, transporting and consuming food. The many challenges for today’s global food systems include malnutrition, food waste, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also human conflicts and a growing global population. Well-designed production facilities, food processing technologies and packaging solutions can strengthen food supply chains and build resilience in food systems to address these challenges.
In September 2021, the United Nations hosted the first global food systems summit, which laid the foundations for how our food systems can be transformed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The Tetra Laval Group is committed to the SDGs and believes that we can contribute in many ways to improve the world’s food systems and to make them more sustainable.
This report highlights how Tetra Pak has identified six impact opportunities where we can help drive systemic change and support the Food Systems Summit objectives. These are initial opportunities that will require more research, discussion, and collaboration. A customer example in the report highlights how Tetra Pak has helped Matriark Foods in the US to develop a new, healthy, low-sodium vegetable product made from food waste. Tetra Pak has a long history of working with sustainability. Its products have a relatively low carbon footprint due to the use of aseptic technology and renewable materials. Tetra Pak is committed to further reducing the environmental impact of its products and services, with the aim of creating cartons made solely from renewable or recycled materials, which are responsibly sourced and carbon neutral.
Equally Sidel, with its packaging solutions and know-how, contributes to creating sustainable food systems. One good example is the Belgian milk producer Inex that has invested in Sidel’s new efficient aseptic PET packaging line, which will boost production capacity and sustainability by supplying ultra-high-temperature (UHT) milk products in PET bottles. Sidel also works to support its customers to further reduce their GHG emissions, such as by helping them to convert their packaging to recycled PET (rPET). rPET generates 80 per cent less GHG emissions compared to virgin PET and can provide recyclable, recycled and safe packaging.
DeLaval also has a strong focus on sustainability. Its focus on animal welfare together with best farm management practices, productivity, better nutrition, genetics, health and longevity create more efficient and sustainable dairy systems. A healthy animal provides more milk, at a better quality and for more years. This contributes to sustainable food systems by optimising the use of resources and the amount of milk produced – to drive farm profitability while promoting food safety through stringent compliance controls. Another highlighted example is DeLaval’s Flow-Responsive Milking technologies, which utilise every cow’s full potential during milking by balancing their natural push with the pull of the milking machine to optimise milking.
Everyone deserves the right to have access to safe and nutritious food. Securing efficient food distribution has been the founding principle for Tetra Laval. Millions of people around the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Food systems in general are today inefficient, unbalanced and in some ways unsustainable. As these systems profoundly affect our health, environment, economies and cultures, transforming them can help create a more sustainable society – while contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
There are several challenges that need to be overcome to fulfil the UN initiative on Sustainable Food Systems. The Tetra Laval Group contributes to providing access to safe nutrition in several ways. This includes playing an active role by working in collaboration with customers and other partners to develop School Feeding Programmes around the world and to increase the supply of locally produced high-quality milk through our Dairy Hub model.