Contributing to a Forest Positive Future

We follow practices that ensure the sustainable production of commodities such as palm oil, wood and paper, soy, and beef.
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Fighting Deforestation

We know that deforestation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and that the global demand for agricultural commodities is one of the leading causes of pressure on forests. In addition to their potential for carbon sequestration and climate regulation, forests are the habitat of around 80% of the earth’s biodiversity. Increasing agricultural productivity, adopting good practices and converting degraded areas are measures that help ensure compliance with the global targets for reducing greenhouse gases and regenerating biodiversity.

For several years the Jerónimo Martins Group has sought to responsibly manage the incorporation of the main commodities associated with deforestation and conversion of high conservation value ecosystems (palm oil, wood and paper fibres, soy, and beef) both in its products and in Private Brands’ and perishables packaging.

Since 2014 we have been mapping the presence of ingredients linked to deforestation and the conversion of high conservation value ecosystems in our Private Brand and perishable products, collecting information from suppliers on the origin and sustainability certification of these ingredients.

We have been a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RPSO) since 2017 and, since 2019, of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), two initiatives that promote alignment with best sustainable practices in the production of palm oil and soy. Biedronka is one of the founding members of the Polish Coalition for Sustainable Palm Oil (PKZOP), whose objective is to certify 100% of palm oil in Poland by 2023.

In 2019, the Group joined The Consumer Goods Forum’s Forest Positive Coalition of Action (FP CoA), which defines actions to ensure that private brands and perishable products meet environmental and social sustainability criteria. The FP CoA also encourages the main traders of these commodities and suppliers of private brands and perishable products to commit to fighting deforestation and conversion of high conservation value ecosystems, defining progress indicators and encouraging the public dissemination of the outcomes.

CDP Forest scores in 2022

We are the only global food retailer to achieve leadership level (‘A-’) in four commodities associated with deforestation risk.

A-

FOR PALM OIL, SOY, BEEF, WOOD AND PAPER

Palm oil

Our strategy for palm oil is based on substitution with vegetable oils with a better nutritional profile, progressively ensuring its sustainable origin in cases where it is present in our products.

Since 2019, all the palm oil present in our Private Brand and perishable products in Portugal and Poland has RSPO certification, thus ensuring sustainable sourcing.

Because the level of RSPO certification in Colombia is relatively low in relation to the total produced, in 2021 Ara joined the Colombian government’s initiative “Acuerdo de Voluntades para la Deforestación Cero en la Cadena de Aceite de Palma en Colombia” (Voluntary Agreement for Zero Deforestation in the Colombian Palm Oil Chain). In 2022, we were able to trace the origin of 90% of the palm oil present in Ara’s Private Brand and perishable products back to the farm where it was produced, in line with our commitment.

Soy

We work to ensure greater traceability in the origins declared for soy used in animal feed, particularly in the poultry and pork categories, where most of the soy present in our supply chain is used.

In 2022, we were able to ascertain the origin of 86% of the soy present in our supply chains. Around 55% of the soy used in our Private Brand and perishable products* comes from countries with deforestation risk, of which 14% has sustainability certification – such as Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) or ProTerra.

Paper & Wood

The Group’s goal is to, by 2030, achieve 100% certification of the virgin fibres used in our products and packaging. In 2022, 90% of the virgin fibres used in products and 70% in packaging were FSC®, PEFC or SFI certified.

Regarding the virgin paper and wood fibres in our Private Brand products, consumption was similar to that recorded in 2021. That said, only 0.4% of the fibres are from countries at risk of deforestation** and, of those, 75% are from sustainably managed forests as they are FSC®, PEFC or SFI certified.

Concerning the paper and wood used in packaging in 2022, more than 80% of the fibres are recycled, while in the case of virgin fibres, there was a decrease in those sourced from countries with a deforestation risk, representing 9% of the total (of this universe, 70% has FSC®, PEFC or SFI certification).

Beef

In 2022, and as the previous year, we were able to trace all beef used in our Private Brand products and perishables back to, at least, the country of origin. Based on this, we were able to ascertain that 0.5% of the total was from Brazil, a country at risk of deforestation associated with cattle production. Despite the reduced exposure we have for this ingredient, we continue to be a part of the beef working group under The Consumer Goods Forum’s Forest Positive Coalition of Action.

Notes:

* Includes the five tiers of soy quantification in the value chain, according to CGF’s “Calculation guidelines for the measurement of embedded soy usage in consumer goods businesses”, available at: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.
** The countries at risk of deforestation considered are defined according to The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) guidelines for soy, paper and wood, and beef.

Independent Verification

Information on the mapping out of the presence of ingredients linked to deforestation in Private Brand products and perishables was confirmed by an external and independent entity for the Group’s 2022 Annual Report.

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