Deforestation and forest degradation are occurring at an alarming rate, aggravating climate change and the loss of biodiversity. The main driver of deforestation and forest degradation is the expansion of agricultural land to produce commodities such as cattle, wood, palm oil, soy, cocoa and coffee.
“Climate and nature and the sustainability of purchasing chains are core focus areas in Kesko’s sustainability strategy. As a large trading sector operator, we want to bear our responsibility and consider it absolutely necessary to steer our global purchasing in an even more sustainable direction,” says Riikka Joukio, Kesko’s Executive Vice President of Sustainability and Public Affairs.
Kesko has adopted various policies to guide the sustainable sourcing of ingredients that pose a particular concern in terms of deforestation. In addition to a ‘No deforestation policy’, Kesko is complementing its range of sourcing policies with a new ‘Coffee and tea policy’.
“All Pirkka, K-Menu and Kespro Menu-branded tea and coffee are of sustainable origin, which means that the sustainability of their primary production has been certified,” says Joukio.
Kesko’s ‘No deforestation policy’ sets requirements for sustainable production
With its ‘No deforestation policy’, Kesko commits to purchasing ingredients that pose a particular concern in terms of deforestation only when they are sustainably produced.
The new policy brings together the Kesko policies on sourcing sustainably produced wood, palm oil, soy, cocoa, coffee and tea. Kesko requires that all palm oil, soy, cocoa, coffee and tea in its own brand products be sustainably produced. Kesko has also set goals for upcoming years: all wood and paper products in Kesko’s selections must be sustainably produced by year 2025.
In purchasing meat, Kesko maintains its current operating model: all beef delivered by Kesko to K Group grocery stores is Finnish. Beef production in Finland does not use feed made from soy.
EU planning legislation to prevent deforestation
In upcoming years, planned new legislation will also require importers to determine the potential deforestation impact of the supply chains of products, as the EU is proposing new regulations to prevent global deforestation. The new regulation would concern six product categories: soy, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, cattle, and wood, and products containing them or made from them.
Kesko’s ‘No deforestation policy’, ‘Coffee and tea policy’, and other sustainability policies are available here.