Tuesday, April 23, 2024

We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children…

By Foodland Supermarkets CEO Franklin dos Santos.

Foodland Supermarkets CEO Franklin dos Santos.
Foodland Supermarkets CEO Franklin dos Santos.

As the Australian government commits to work towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050, this old American Indian proverb has never been more pertinent.

For Foodland Supermarkets, it is a sentiment that has formed the foundation and guided the delivery of our sustainability strategy. Several years in development, this strategy will enable us to play our small but significant part in achieving Australia’s climate goals.

Sustainability has, in recent years, increasingly dominated discussion between business, suppliers, and the wider community.

It will continue to do so, especially now the national stage is set towards zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Our customers look to us and other businesses and expect us to contribute to delivering on this commitment. It is on us to ensure we meet that expectation. It is time to replace our words and promises with action and change.  When it comes to sustainability, we must lead by example.

Foodland Supermarkets is the first independent retailer to implement a seven-pillar sustainability strategy to guide and influence its operations now and into the future.

Renewable energy, instore LED lighting and energy efficient refrigeration is being implemented across our store network; we have begun the journey towards zero waste and no food waste to landfill and we have introduced packaging that is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.

When it comes to food, we ensure our seafood is 100% sustainable, our beef is without added hormones and our own brand eggs are now cage free.

We have a South Australian and Australian first sourcing policy and Foodland is committed to become the market leader in fresh, functional foods.

Our approach to sustainability is holistic. It doesn’t stop at saving the planet.

We make it our business to work with organisations to encourage the connection between good, fresh food with good mental health and our sustainability extends to our staff and recruitment. At Foodland it is a fair go for every employee.

We operate within a social licence that our customers afford us. This trust is hard to win and easy to lose.

We are accountable to our community, and our actions must align with what they want from their local supermarket. They want ethically and locally sourced produce that is reasonably priced, they want us to use small suppliers and start up manufacturers and they want us to ensure their shopping experience is not costing the earth. Our customers and our employees want to see our commitment to sustainability.  It behoves us to show them the changes we’re making, to educate them on the changes they can make and to support them as we make those changes together.

Our experience of the Covid-19 pandemic is testament to the importance of food provenance. It reset the retail experience across the world. Local and reliable has never been more important.

If we have learned anything from the fires, droughts, floods, and extreme events that have afflicted Australia in recent years, it is that our planet is fragile. That it is our job to protect it in whatever way we can for the generations that follow.

For us, that is a commitment to taking practical and effective steps towards a smaller carbon footprint and to joining a national movement to meet the targets that we as a country have set ourselves.

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