29 September 2020
In commemoration of International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste Reduction, Tiger Brands has signed a letter of commitment to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which aims to halve global food waste and reduce food losses along the production and supply chains by 2030. The commitment is part of the company’s larger sustainability strategy, built on pillars of providing opportunities for inclusive economic participation across the value chain and significantly reducing its environmental impact through innovative solutions.
“On the issue of environmental stewardship, we have realised excellent improvements in our 2025 target of achieving zero waste to landfill at all our sites, “says Dr Stiaan Wandrag, Director of Sustainable and External Reporting at Tiger Brands.
A particular case in point is the Tiger Brands jam factory In Paarl, Western Cape, which manufacturers all Tiger-produced jams and condiments for South Africa. The site now clears 85% of its waste for beneficial use. Ferdinand Mettler, the site’s Security, Safety and Environmental Officer says, “We believe in the circular economy – the idea that one person’s waste is another person’s beneficial product, so we actively look for partners who can use our by-products in as part of their primary processes.”
Coal ash, for example, which is used to fire-up the boilers that steam-cook the jams, is collected by another provider that uses the ash to manufacture bricks. Likewise, discarded cans are sent to metal recycling plants where they will “live” a second life as something else.
“Waste partners aren’t always easy to find,” says Mettler, “so you have to be creative about where how and where you source businesses who will benefit from materials that you plan to discard.”
Mettler says one of the most essential parts of achieving zero waste to landfill is segregating waste from the moment of manufacture. “By creating different waste streams in different holding facilities, it’s easy to assess where you can improve and where you need to find partners to ensure the waste doesn’t end up in a landfill.”
The recently released unemployment figures by Stats SA paint a bleak picture with 2.2 million jobs lost during the second quarter of 2020 due to the lockdown. It is now more prudent for communities and corporates alike to actively discourage food waste.
Statistics indicate that roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. “As a food producer, we are passionate about long-term sustainability. We are committed to reducing food wastage and we want to leave a lasting legacy for all our stakeholders by ensuring that what we do today will not compromise the future of the planet, or of the communities we operate in”, concluded Wandrag