Potato processor Lamb Weston/Meijer has reduced its energy consumption per tonne of product by more than 20% since 2008, according to its latest sustainability report.
The company has also improved its potato utilisation by 4.5%, helping to reduce food waste, and reduced its road mileage by more than 6 million kilometres a year. It pre-fries more than 82% of its products in a healthier frying oil, leading to reductions of 9.6 million kilograms of saturated fat every year.
The latest results, Lamb Weston/Meijer said, put it ‘well on its way to achieving its sustainability objectives’.
It wants to reduce its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 30% before 2020, and improve its potato utilisation by 10%.
Lamb Weston/Meijer CEO Bas Alblas said: “Over the past 30 years I’ve had the pleasure to work in the food and agribusiness sector. During this time I’ve learned the real value of food, and that the environment doesn’t give you precisely what you want, when you want it.
“A good example is the potato growers we work closely with across Europe. They understand that if they plant seed potatoes in the same fields annually, it will reduce yields and ultimately kill their business. They know there’s a limit to what you can ask Mother Nature to give you. Yet if you treat her well, she will respond in kind. It’s a symbiotic relationship in which both parties need to benefit. This standpoint is fundamental to our sustainability programme and strategy. We believe in give and take, in the micro and the macro, in the company and society, in sustainability and a solid financial return.
“Since we published our last report, we have further intensified our sustainability efforts. Over the last two years we have made a number of large investments across our company to support these ambitions. This has enabled us to create shared value for all our stakeholders and deliver products to our customers more efficiently, effectively, and sustainably.”
The priorities for the coming two years include reducing direct water consumption and further improvement of the nutritional value of its potato products by reducing salt and fat. The company will put more of a focus on making the entire value-chain sustainable from field to fork.
In 2015, the company opened a cutting-edge receiving area in Kruiningen, in the Netherlands, leading to better potato utilisation and improved product quality.
In November 2016, it opened a new production line in Bergen op Zoom with the latest energy efficiency technology. The new production line comprises innovations in the areas of cutting, optical grading, frying, freezing and utilities – all contributing to the ambition to produce even more sustainably and efficiently. The installation of the new line represented an investment from Lamb Weston/Meijer of €120 million.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019