Ferrero whips up recipe to beat crisis

Corporate social responsibility at company's core

Ferrero whips up recipe to beat crisis

Milan, July 11 - The Ferrero Group - makers of the creamy hazelnut and chocolate Nutella spread, Kinder eggs and bars and other goodies - believe that good business is built on good values. At the presentation of its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report presented this week, Ferrero outlined the group's sustainability strategy and related initiatives throughout the world. The fourth CSR report introduced the objectives set for 2013-2020 that were developed over the 2010-2011 period. The pillars of the group's CSR program include its products, its foundation, social undertakings and the voluntary 'Kinder + Sport' program. "Our secret is very simple. Passion, innovation and ethics, which for us have an extraordinary importance. And then we believe in the politics of doing and not in the politics of preaching," said the CEO of Ferrero Spa, former ambassador Francesco Paolo Fulci. "The first column is built from our main products, which are created out of respect for our consumers and their expectations. "The second column is the Ferrero Foundation that takes care of all our former employees during their lives. "The third column consists of the Ferrero social undertakings that contribute to the growth, health and education of local children in Africa and Asia. "Fourth and last column is sport, which is one of the true ways to fight obesity". The quality and safety of products are ensured by various data management systems and international certifications that secure the entire chain of production. The report outlines the group's 10 goals based on the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The first target is the development of a self-produced energy capacity to cover the needs of European plants, 30% of which must be from renewable sources. It calls for a 40% reduction of CO2 emissions and a 20% reduction of water consumption per production unity. One hundred per cent of cocoa, palm oil and coffee supplies must be certified as coming from sustainable sources. By 2020, a traceability plan for 100% of hazelnuts used will be implemented and to respect animal welfare, all of the eggs used will come from barn hens raised in humane environments. And the packaging will follow suit with 100% of paper and cardboard coming from a certified sustainable supply chain. Ferrero is firmly tied to its roots in the Piedmont town of Alba and the activities of the Alba Foundation, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Chaired by founder Michele Ferrero's wife Maria Franca, the foundation is geared to the wellbeing of former employees. With multidisciplinary activities and health care, it provides a nursery for 80 children and promotes cultural activities that dip into the beauty of the region. Social activities abroad have helped created jobs in disadvantaged areas such as India, South Africa and Cameroon by creating position for 2,435 employees in Ferrero humanitarian projects. Another project, 'United Kinder of the World', drove the renovation of a school for 1,400 children in Daleside, South Africa. Some 80% of Ferrero products come in packaging containing less than 45 grams and the group adheres to the European program "Together for Preventing Infant Obesity". To promote physical activity among young people, 'Kinder + Sport' has been launched in 20 countries. All of the group's actions are part of a single, wider philosophy. At the core of the company's values remains a dedication to ethical and sustainable actions, the training of local communities, more integrated logistics and a 'green' approach that is clearly communicated to the consumer. All with Italian flair. "Ferrero will remain Italian? Absolutely...there is not the slightest doubt," said Fulci.

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