One of Solina’s headline commitments is Sustainability, which we are resolved to achieve at every level across all our operations. True to this pledge, in 2018 we joined forces with other food industry members in the Sustainable Spices Initiative (SSI) to drive forward sustainable sourcing in this sector. The goal is to rethink Solina’s entire approach to spice procurement and reorganise it to support key sustainability concerns.
Safeguarding the future of the spice-growing community
The SSI is a worldwide association of major food industry players who share the same goal of achieving sustainability in global spice production and trade. The SSI’s focus on four key areas – traceability, food safety & quality, securing the supply, and corporate social responsibility – ties in with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the planet.
Solina’s membership of SSI gives a clear signal that we care as much about people and the planet as about profit. We work in pre-competitive collaboration with other SSI members to improve the spice supply chain in a step-by-step process that creates change from the ground up. Our actions are designed to safeguard working conditions among spice-growers, and ensure their families can access decent housing, healthcare and education. In line with SSI objectives, Solina is committed to increasing sustainable sourcing of at least our top three spices over the next few years.
We see this not only as a matter of ethics, but of survival. In the words of Marie Cederberg, Solina’s Group Procurement Category Manager for spices: “If we don’t do this now, there won’t be any good products to buy in the future.”
Making great strides in sustainable spice sourcing
The Sustainable Spices Initiative is already gaining traction. Six months into Solina’s membership of SSI, we have made a real shift in our sourcing towards spice suppliers who embrace sustainable ways of working. We introduced Sustainability as a new performance indicator for our procurement team in 2018, and have homed in on our three highest-volume spices – pepper, onion and paprika – to revisit the way we organise the entire sourcing and supply chain. With such a strong sustainability emphasis within the group, financial savings aren’t the only measure of our achievements. We judge our procurement performance by how much volume we have shifted over to sustainably sourced channels – not just of the three key spices, but wherever possible within raw material sourcing.
We had already dropped some suppliers who couldn’t meet the sustainability standards we set in 2016, and Solina encourages the spice-growers we currently buy from to join the SSI community and sign up to the same commitments. SSI has already held several day-long events where all members – some of whom are competitors – share knowledge and collaborate to find sustainable ways forward for the spice sector of the food industry. The aim is not to create conflict between stakeholders, but to work together to help improve lives.
Date from the brief, it’s in the past and won’t change over time, we have removed most of the others though and can remove this one too if it is not wanted.