With the aim of combating deforestation, the Casino Group has introduced mechanisms to support sustainable procurement of the raw materials used by its suppliers, particularly concerning beef produced in Brazil, palm oil, soy and cocoa. These mechanisms are used to obtain assurances from suppliers on the production of the raw materials they buy, by improving the traceability of supply chains to make them more transparent and accessible to monitoring.
THE GROUP'S COMMITMENTS
TO COMBAT DEFORESTATION
The world’s population has grown dramatically since 1945, rising from 1.5 billion to over 7.6 billion; this means that productive land, particularly in the developing countries, is under extreme pressure to meet the ever-increasing worldwide demand for food, which has led to forests being turned into crop plantations and animal pasture. Three large forest sites are particularly affected: the Amazon, Central Africa and South-East Asia. Forests are extremely beneficial to the ecosystem, for they not only play a key role in global climate regulation but also constitute a significant carbon sink.
TRANSFORMING SUPPLY CHAINS
Against this background, and faced with worldwide demand, some raw materials such as palm oil, soy, cocoa and beef in Latin America are produced in high-risk regions and may contribute to deforestation. Aware that the presence of these raw materials in supply chains has a potential impact on the deforestation of primary forests, the Casino Group has made a commitment to transform its suppliers’ production chains by eliminating the deforestation of primary forests and the conversion of primary vegetation.
With an extensive presence in France and Latin America, the Casino Group is working with its subsidiaries to implement concrete policies and action plans; by adapting these to local issues and co-operating with associations working on the ground, the Group seeks to manage and reduce the risk that raw materials used by suppliers could be implicated in deforestation or land conversion.
COMBATING IMPORTED DEFORESTATION
Within France, the Group is committed to combating imported deforestation. This means that for its private labels, the Casino Group only uses RSPO-certified palm oil from the Segregated or Identity Preserved supply chain models; it also analyses, with the support of the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition, the policies of palm oil importers who provide the commodity to its suppliers. For its private labels, the Casino Group only uses soy as an ingredient from areas that are not at risk of deforestation (from France or the European Union) and supports the Manifesto for the mobilisation of French stakeholders to fight imported deforestation linked to soybean.
This Manifesto encourages the rapid establishment of a cut-off date of 1 January 2020, applicable to all parties concerned, after which the use in animal feed of soy from any deforested or converted area of Cerrado after this date will be prohibited. To combat cocoa-driven deforestation, the Casino Group has undertaken to use only Rainforest Alliance or Max Havelaar-certified cocoa for its own-brand products in France: 100% of chocolate bars are certified and all products containing more than 20% cocoa will also be certified by the end of 2022. The Group is also a signatory of the French Initiative for Sustainable Cocoa
ESTABLISHING EXACTING STANDARDS
In Latin America, the Casino Group, with its subsidiaries GPA, Assaí and Grupo Éxito, requires Brazilian and Colombian agrifood businesses selling their beef in the Group’s shops to monitor the farms that supply them, thereby ensuring that these are not implicated in the deforestation of primary forests.
The Casino Group and its subsidiaries are involved in numerous initiatives with multiple stakeholders, with the aim of defining rigorous standards common to all stakeholders and co-operating in their implementation, including: