The cross-industry agreement to reduce food waste was signed on 12 May 2022 in Bern by Marc Heim, Head of Emmi Switzerland, Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, and representatives of 28 Swiss companies and associations from the wholesale and retail sectors, the processing industry, the hospitality industry and agriculture. Emmi is thus committed to cutting its food waste in half by 2030 compared with 2017, in line with the targets set out in the Federal Council’s action plan.
Together in the fight against food waste
While global food supply seems to be reaching its limits, one-third of the food produced is lost or wasted. In Switzerland, this corresponds to an average of 330 kilos of waste per capita and year. In addition to the impact on the food supply, food waste accounts for a quarter of the overall environmental impact caused by food. “To make progress, all of the stakeholders need to pull together. Cooperation is crucial to gradually reduce food waste and achieve the targets set”, said Simonetta Sommaruga at the signing of the agreement.
Reaching the goal with tangible measures
Reducing food waste is one of the areas of focus in Emmi’s sustainability model. Since 2017 Emmi has managed to reduce its own food waste by 11 per cent. As such, Emmi supports the federal government’s action plan combined with a cross-industry agreement. “We are now tackling our goal together of cutting food waste in half”, explains Marc Heim. “This will give us additional momentum to achieve our own ambitious goal.”
Emmi is implementing concrete measures in this area and cooperating with partners such as 'Too Good To Go’ to raise awareness among its own employees and consumers. A growing number of products are also being labelled 'Often good for longer’, which will help keep safe-to-eat foods in circulation for longer periods of time. Other measures include increased donations of unsold food to charitable organisations, better packaging to allow longer shelf lives, offering employees the opportunity to take home unsold meals from the staff restaurant at preferential prices, and reducing losses and waste in production itself.
Transparency in achieving objectives
Under the agreement, Emmi and the other parties involved undertake to collect data annually, not only on the amount of food lost but also on the progress made, and to forward this data to the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). This will allow overall progress to be calculated and the environmental and financial savings to be determined. The FOEN provides transparent information on overall reductions and general development. Companies and associations interested in signing the agreement can contact the FOEN.
Emmi is the leading manufacturer of high-quality dairy products in Switzerland. Its roots date back to 1907, when it was founded by dairy farmer cooperatives in the Lucerne region. With its focussed strategy, innovative products and brand concepts established beyond Switzerland, such as Emmi Caffè Latte and Kaltbach cheese, Emmi has grown into an internationally active, listed group (EMMN) with a strong local presence in 15 countries.
Emmi’s business model is traditionally based on a careful approach to nature, animals and people. In this way, Emmi creates the best dairy moments, today and for generations to come, while also contributing to value creation in rural regions. The company distributes its quality products in around 60 countries and manufactures these at over 30 of its own production sites in nine countries. With more than 9,000 employees, around 70% of whom work outside Switzerland, the Emmi Group generated sales of CHF 3.9 billion in 2021.