SUSTAINABILITY INTO STRATEGY

Sustainability is one of the drivers of our vision as a Group, and we have established sustainability targets which are monitored by executive management. We are currently aligning our subsidiaries' sustainability targets using the 2015 financial year as a baseline. Our long-term sustainability strategy, which we will elaborate on in the next financial year, is driven by the following goals:

At RCL FOODS we are working towards setting ambitious sustainability goals in the above areas, supporting a number of the Global Sustainable Development Goals – particularly goal 2, 8 and 12. Our sustainability vision can be summarised as follows:

  • Nourishing People (aligned to #2: No Hunger) – We aspire to providing more choice and availability to all, defining the social purpose of our brands, and achieving food security and improved nutrition while promoting sustainable agriculture.
  • Enriching Communities (aligned to #8: Good Jobs and Economic Growth) – We actively promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, supported by full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  • Sustaining Resources (aligned to #12: Responsible Consumption) – We wish to drive sustainable consumption and production patterns, improved efficiencies and increase our focus on waste reduction and beneficiation.

NOURISHING PEOPLE

Although South Africa is considered a “food-secure” nation, producing enough calories to adequately feed every one of its 53 million people, the reality is that one in four people currently suffers hunger on a regular basis and more than half of the population live in such precarious circumstances that they are at risk of going hungry.

As one of South Africa’s largest food producers, we believe we have a responsibility to positively and significantly impact food security in our country. We continue to strive to find new ways to strengthen the nutritional profile of our products while maintaining the great taste our customers expect. We also want to help make it easier for customers to access nutritional choices, in line with the universally accepted healthy practice of eating a variety of foods from recommended food groups.

As a Group we seek to collaborate with partners so as to leverage resources and expertise to help ensure enduring impact and long-term sustainability for all our projects. Amongst other initiatives, we support a number of organisations with their monthly chicken requirements, donating a total of 24 tons of chicken and providing close on 200 000 meals during the past financial year.

ENRICHING COMMUNITIES

We wish to enrich our communities through sustainable economic growth and development. In generating economic value for shareholders and other stakeholders, we provide a quality and affordable food source while also creating jobs, both within the business and along the supply chain in the formal and informal sectors. We are committed to doing business through fair commercial competitive practices and to trading with customers and suppliers that subscribe to the same high ethical business practices.

Our produce is sourced from over 1 600 individual farmers who support communities of more than 12 800 people. With the support of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, TSB partnered with farmers in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga to produce 988 516 tons of cane during the 2014/2015 season.

SUSTAINING RESOURCES

We are committed to ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns by producing more food with less water, as well as producing, storing and transporting more food using less energy. Our journey toward sustainable sourcing begins with our direct suppliers and extends to a complex network of indirect suppliers that source ingredients for our products. We recognise that the impacts of a large supply chain like ours are significant, and that most environmental impacts to air, land and water occur in it. That’s why we work with direct suppliers who are committed to doing business responsibly in their own supply chains and making sure that they meet our requirements for environmental responsibility.

We are also actively looking for ways to convert the waste generated throughout our supply chain, into value. TSB's co-generation of electricity from biomass resulted in 37,7 GWh being exported to the national grid in the current financial year, assisting the country during its time of need. The potential of waste-to-energy conversion has been tested throughout the past financial year and commitments to invest in groundbreaking technologies have been made at Rainbow’s processing facilities where several successful pilot projects have been run.

  • In South Africa there are 12 million poor, food-insecure people, 70% of whom live in rural areas.
  • More than 60% of chronically hungry people are women.
  • Malnutrition remains the world’s most serious health problem and the single biggest contributor to child mortality – more than HIV/ AIDS, TB and malaria combined.
  • There are about 1,5 million children under the age of 6 years whose development is stunted by chronic malnutrition.

 

South Africa has one of the highest rates of poverty and inequality in the world. With unemployment levels at 25% nationally and over 15 million people receiving social grants, many struggle to survive.

Fewer than 2% of households grow the majority of their own food, and the majority of small-scale producers in rural areas are unable to feed their families. Inadequate access to water, equipment and extension services means that even if rural communities have access to land, they cannot be productive enough.

 

The “Food Energy Water Nexus” is central to the sustainability of South Africa’s future. Unless all three elements of the system are in balance, communities cannot flourish. However, we are now faced with a system alarmingly out of balance, and the sustainable supply of water, food and energy is becoming ever less certain. Effectively averting a crisis requires enhanced information, co-ordinated planning and adaptation to a resource-scarce future. A flourishing economy underpinned by resilient ecosystems that can produce sufficient water, energy and food security for all into the future, depends on it.