The Spotlight is on:
Campbell Soup Company: Company Profile
- Campbell’s Purpose: “Real food that matters for life’s moments.”
- Campbell makes a range of high-quality soups and simple meals, beverages, snacks and packaged fresh foods.
- Since 1869, people have trusted Campbell to provide authentic, flavorful and readily available foods and beverages that connect them to each other, to warm memories and to what’s important today.
- Led by its iconic Campbell’s brand, the company’s portfolio includes Pepperidge Farm, Bolthouse Farms, Arnott’s, V8, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Plum, Royal Dansk, Kjeldsens and Garden Fresh Gourmet.
- Campbell has a long heritage of giving back and acting as a good steward of the planet’s natural resources.
- The company is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.
A Q&A with Campbell’s Vice President – Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, Dave Stangis:
Q: How long has Campbell been active in the food waste reduction effort?
A: Campbell has a long history of reducing and recycling waste. For many years, the company has had formal strategies to divert food waste from landfill through donation, animal feed and compost.
Q: What strides have you made since you embarked on this journey?
A: Over time, our practices have evolved to include using food waste to generate energy and the development of a unique partnership to utilize food waste to create revenue for a local food bank.
At our largest manufacturing facility, located in Napoleon, OH, Campbell partnered with a third party provider to build a biodigester that collects organic waste to generate renewable energy. At our World Headquarters in Camden, NJ, we have worked with the Food Bank of South Jersey for the past four years to manufacture and distribute Just Peachy Salsa to local retailers. The salsa is made from peaches that would otherwise be sent to landfill due to bruising or being undersized. All proceeds generated from the sale of the salsa benefit the Food Bank and their nine hunger relief programs. This project has generated approximately $250,000 since its inception. These are just a couple examples of how our strategies to reduce food waste inside and outside our operations have evolved over the years.
Q: Are there any new initiatives underway?
A: We are always evaluating additional opportunities to move our food waste streams up the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy – from compost and animal feed to donation and source reduction. A great example of source reduction can be found in our Bolthouse Farms operations. Their process is designed to make use of the entire carrot. From tip to greens, they make sure each inch of the carrot reaches its full potential. Carrots are juiced into fresh beverages, cut and peeled into Baby Carrots or carrot time savers like Chips and Matchstix. Even the leftover carrot tops are used as fertilizer in the fields.
Q: What is Campbell most proud of when it comes to your sustainability and food waste reduction program(s)?
A: In addition to the innovative ways that Bolthouse Farms is using the entire carrot in its production processes, we are equally proud of the utilization of the whole tomato in our tomato operations in California. Unripe tomatoes, stems and other plant material during harvest are returned to the soil to improve soil health. At our manufacturing plants, stems and damaged fruit are sorted out and sent to nearby cattle farms for animal feed or to compost. Tomato peels and seeds become an ingredient for pet food. And finally, fruit that doesn’t match the size needed to make diced tomatoes is rerouted to another production line to make tomato concentrate. Every bit of the tomato is utilized so nothing goes to waste.
Q: How do you engage employees?
A: Our employees on the plant floor are often the innovators who identify opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle food waste. And as such, we are in the process of building a network to share these best practices across the company and further reduce our waste.
Q: What is your biggest takeaway or lesson learned since your engagement in this space?
A: Considering the variety in our product portfolio and manufacturing processes, we have to employ a customized approach to reduce food waste. What works well in one location, may not be the best strategy in another, but there are certainly best practices to share across the organization and we utilize national partners, like Feeding America, to create continuity in our approach.