Sustainable food companies gaining loyalty, reducing costs and improving food safety

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 20th March 2009

New research by the Aberdeen Group, entitled “Sustaining the Global Food Supply Chain: Three Keys to Gaining Competitive Advantage”, has investigated the sustainability initiatives of food and beverage sector companies and revealed the opportunities created by, and benefits of, sound corporate responsibility.

The study was conducted in support of the Marrakech Process of the United Nations agenda on Sustainable Consumption and Production, and highlights the strategies and capabilities of companies with sustainability-framed initiatives to increase food quality, safety, and overall corporate responsibility. Around 56% of respondents rank “the need for competitive advantage” as the top business pressure driving their organisation to focus on a sustainability initiative.

Survey results show that top performing firms have made a resoundingly strong business case for integrating sustainability into corporate strategy. Leading companies achieved:

– 19% decrease in energy costs
– 17% decrease in waste / disposal costs
– 13% decrease in defects / non-conforming goods over last 12 months
– 5% decrease in year-over-year overall operational costs relative to changes in volume of business
– 15% increase in customer acquisition rate

“Top performing companies are driving down operational costs while increasing operational efficiency,” Jhana Senxian, research analyst and report author, advised. “This has especially high impact during economically challenging times. The hyper-visibility and critical nature of food company practices – and missteps – have driven thought leading companies to adopt strategies geared to responsibly sustaining the business while also sustaining the environmental and social infrastructures upon which the business depends.”

To obtain a complimentary copy of the report,