STORY: Zeelandia pledges to strengthen roots with local communities

Corporate social responsibility issues may have moved down the agenda for many businesses as they grapple with the effects of Covid-19, but for Zeelandia UK, which is part of the global baking ingredients manufacturer Royal Zeelandia Group, it has always been an integral part of company culture.

The company, which is renowned for providing the highest quality bakery ingredients to the industrial, craft and in-store bakery sectors, prides itself on the close relationship it has with customers to provide product advice and create tailor-made developments and solutions.

But this focus on relationships is also mirrored in their corporate social responsibility strategy - with ‘Better for Employees’ being one of their four main pillars.

David Amos, managing director, Zeelandia UK, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with many challenges, but we remain committed to the initiatives as set out in our action plan for 2020 and beyond.

The energy, initiative, health, and engagement of our employees is crucial for our success. We create an environment in which employees can flourish and deliver results as a One Zeelandia team, and in which they can stay fit and productive until retirement."

David added: “This year more than ever we have all needed a helping hand to ensure we protect our wellbeing and have rolled out several initiatives to assist that.

"We not only offer seasonal NHS flu jabs, access to free mental health awareness webinars to all UK staff free of charge, but continue to provide a free Employees Assistance Programme, for physical and mental health wellness. This programme gives our employees access to trained counsellors for support, as well as videos and programmes to follow”.

The other three pillars of the company’s corporate social responsibility plan are ‘Better for Consumers’, ‘Clean Energy’ and ‘Zero Waste’. 

Low calorie and plant-based innovation projects are top of the list of goals for the Royal Zeelandia Group, with bread and pastry products already developed that are low in salt, fat and sugar and/or rich in fibre, protein, and vitamins.

Reducing water, food waste, energy, and fuel consumption, along with recycling other types of waste into new raw materials, are a key focus with the bold goal of making the transition to using 100% renewable energy by 2023.

David Amos said: “While our first responsibility is to make sure our own choices and actions conform to high corporate social responsibility standards, it is important to recognise that we are part of a global and often complex supply chain. In view of the substantial volumes we purchase from suppliers, we have the opportunity and responsibility to carry on a sustained dialogue and influence their decision-making.

For example, we are committed to buying only sustainably sourced palm oil. Since December 2019 over 99% of the palm oil we use in Europe is certified sustainable palm oil and we are striving to make that 100%. That is why we proactively participate in the Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard and are a member of RSPO since 2015”.

He added: “It is our sincere hope that this corporate social responsibility report will help us all to maximise our impact on the health and prosperity of our communities and our planet."

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