Where do Bonduelle Group brands harvest their vegetables and other products?
The Bonduelle Group, a family business, was created in 1853 and today is the world leader in ready-to-use vegetables. Its vegetables are grown on more than 115,000 hectares and sold in 100 countries under various brand names.
Nearly 90% of the Group's vegetable purchases come straight from farming partners, which ensures the full traceability of the vegetables used and, above all, significant control over the Bonduelle Group farming methods. The Bonduelle Group takes on farming partners through its agronomic charter, which sees that environmental and social criteria are integrated into farming and production methods. The goal is to have all the group’s farming partners sign the Charter (partners signed in 2012: 87%).
Other vegetable purchases come under contracts that include requirements in terms of traceability, quality and compliance with ethical, social and environmental commitments.
What is Bonduelle's stance on GMOs?
Bonduelle products do not contain GMOs. We are experts in vegetables, living products. Alongside our seed suppliers, we have developed know-how in varietal selection and hybridization that’s unique in Europe. We select the seeds that we provide to farmers, and today, because of current debate, we have decided to take the precautionary measure of not using genetically-engineered vegetable seeds. As a global vegetable specialist, however, we have a responsibility to stay informed of progress that could improve the nutritional, sensory, and economic qualities of our vegetables. We therefore plan to study the opportunities that biotechnology can offer by committing ourselves in advance to:
- taking into account the strictest security conditions during development
- choosing partners who prove to be responsible and transparent
- keeping you informed of our position, particularly through our product labels.
What is the situation regarding professional equality at Bonduelle?
Bonduelle is committed to maintaining the diversity and equality of its employees. For our Bonduelle Europe Long Life Business Unit (BELL), which has the largest number of employees in France, we are announcing for the 2019/2020 financial year an index of 77 points out of 100. For the French subsidiaries Bonduelle Frais France (BFF) and Bonduelle Traiteur International (BTI), we are announcing an index of 92/100 for the first and an index of 99/100 for the second for the same financial year. The companies BSA and BFT show respectively a score of 75 and 91 points while the subsidiary BPD Champiland show a score of 78 points.
What is Bonduelle's position on animal welfare?
We have relatively few products with animal-based ingredients. Nevertheless, animal welfare is something we feel strongly about.
Like the rest of the agri-food industry, Bonduelle Group does not carry-out laboratory testing on animals.
In Europe, our ready-to-eat fresh salads (sold in France) have been made using free-run poultry reared in humane, environmentally-responsible conditions on a diet free from animal meal or growth hormones. Regarding eggs and egg products -- which represent a tiny percentage of the ingredients purchased by Bonduelle in Europe -- we are committed to gradually increase our sourcing of alternative eggs. By 2025, all of the eggs and egg products contained in our products would be “cage-free”.
In the United States and Canada, our supplier agreements and Code of Conduct contain a clause stating that we believe in the humane treatment of animals and expects our suppliers to engage in practices that promote the welfare of animals. This includes providing an environment that is free from distress, cruelty, abuse and neglect.
Where are Bonduelle products made?
In all areas where it operates, the Bonduelle Group places importance on producing its products close to consumer zones. Today, around 95% of products distributed in France by the Bonduelle Group are produced and grown in France, and around 97% of products that it distributes in Europe are produced and grown in Europe (figures may vary from year to year depending on the harvests which are affected by various factors, such as weather, disease and the presence of pests). However, some products may be grown and even made outside the country of production or consumption for various reasons (choice of varieties, harvesting methods, etc.). In such cases, the Bonduelle Group relies on close and long-lasting partnerships to remain consistent with its policies on long-term priorities, growth, food safety and respect for the environment so as to offer products that meet customer requirements.
How is quality guaranteed?
For the Bonduelle Group, quality is a key priority. Bonduelle's quality policy is proof of its commitment to consumers and the sustainability of the group's activities around the world. It is continuously improved, both internally and with suppliers. This approach is combined with the actions taken by the group to ensure customer and consumer satisfaction, in particular by providing transparent information about its products and by developing the accessibility of vegetables. In addition to quality, Bonduelle's approach to production is based on pleasure, taste and responsibility (environmental and social).
Do Bonduelle products contain palm oil?
Bonduelle has almost finished removing palm oil from the products it manufactures and sells (although some essential aromas for certain recipes still rely on palm oil). This approach stems from the “Visa Santé” project (a continuous progress approach based on the evaluation and optimization of food products).
What is Bonduelle's policy regarding packaging?
Bonduelle is continuing its efforts to optimize packaging and logistics processes. A marked improvement in secondary packaging methods has been made thanks to actions undertaken in “frozen food” technology and tools that fill boxes better. This process has resulted in savings of 155 tons of cardboard in France and is being applied to the group’s other locations. In addition, reducing the size of certain products packaged in bags has cut down the amount of film per package by 11%. For canned foods, the policy of reducing packaging has been extended to include all types of packaging, in particular the film used for batches and unitization. This represents potential film savings of 90 tons per year. With regard to metal packaging, the reductions in thickness achieved over the last two years have saved 500 tons of metal per year in Europe.
How does Bonduelle guarantee that human rights are respected by its suppliers?
Bonduelle complies with international labor rules. The group undertakes to respect and promote the seven fundamental conventions of the International Labor Organization concerning the eradication of discrimination in employment, respect for freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, the abolition of child labor, and the elimination of forced or compulsory labor. It also commits to respecting the European Charter of Fundamental Rights within the organization. As part of its Ethics Charter, published in 2012, Bonduelle requires all of its staff members, suppliers and subcontractors to strictly comply with all legislative provisions relating to their business and professional environment, and encourages its subcontractors and suppliers to adopt ethical practices. Finally, since 2003 the Bonduelle Group has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact initiative, launched in 2000, which encourages companies to adopt fundamental values based on ten principles inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
How does the Bonduelle Group contribute to local development in the countries where it operates?
Since 2004, the Bonduelle Group has been committed to promoting better nutrition. Through the Louis Bonduelle Corporate Foundation, the group has been launching a call for proposals every six months since 2007 to support local initiatives aimed at helping people to eat better. These calls are open worldwide and have already supported 100 projects and over 280,000 beneficiaries, raising more than 330,000 euros.
The Bonduelle Group also donates to food banks. In France, Italy, Poland and Hungary, 2,144 tons of products were distributed in 2011-2012.