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Four corporate giants unite to help shape U.S. sustainable food policy

At its launch, the Alliance said it would focus on pushing for progress in nutrition labelling and carbon emissions.

BETTER INFORMED: One of the key goals of the Alliance is improving the quality and accessibility of information available to consumers about the food they purchase for themselves and their families

Four of the USA’s biggest food companies have formed a new organisation to reshape public policies on consumer health, communities and the environment.

Mars, Danone, Nestlé and Unilever are all founding members of the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, an initiative made public earlier this week. 

As part of the Alliance, they have committed to advocating national action in five key areas including consumer transparency, the environment, food safety, nutrition and working communities.

In a joint statement, Mariano Lozano, CEO, Danone North America; Tracey Massey, President, Mars Wrigley Confectionery Americas; Steve Presley, Chairman and CEO, Nestlé USA; and Amanda Sourry, President, Unilever North America said: “The Sustainable Food Policy Alliance was founded on the principle that food companies can and should be doing more to lead and drive positive policy action for the people who buy and enjoy the foods and beverages we make, the people who supply them, and the planet on which we all rely.

“As an Alliance, we commit first and foremost to leading by example. Each member company has independently proven a willingness to advocate for the long-term interests of the people who farm and supply our raw materials, and people who make and consume our products.

“We are committed to a collaborative approach and to listen and learn about issues affecting all parts of our food system from the field to the store shelf and beyond. We understand that we don’t have all the answers and will rely on the best available evidence-based science to inform our positions. We will be transparent about how we reach our decisions and what we hope to achieve.

“With so many pressing food policy opportunities on the horizon, now is the time to help steer America’s food policy and our food system on a better path for long-term success.”

The Alliance has said it supports a comprehensive update of the definition of terms important for people, like “healthy,” including strong, science-based regulations on how these terms can be used on food packages and in marketing.

The Alliance will also work to advance climate policies that are impactful for the environment, while accounting for the specific business imperatives of supply chains, including farmers, ranchers, and other producers. This will include:

  • Urging U.S. policymakers to ensure the Farm Bill and other farm policies reflect the pressing need to increase the scale of actions to address water quality and water conservation issues, focus on improving soil health, and expand the deployment of renewable energy, particularly wind and solar. The Farm Bill should leverage all available tools, including research and public-private partnerships such as the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), to make smart investments in conservation and sustainability.
  • Exploring the economics of sustainability, including financial incentives to reduce emissions and transition to low-carbon alternatives, with a particular focus on ways to create value for farmers, ranchers, and others who are implementing leading edge practices to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Advocating on behalf of smart, comprehensive energy and environmental policies at the state, national, and international levels, including the Paris Climate Agreement, the Clean Power Plan or other commitments that result in change necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with what evidence-based science says is necessary.

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