ITC Limited Food Division's Policy on Food Loss & Waste
Efficient Food Loss & Waste (FLW) management is vital to create a World with Zero Hunger while attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2 - End Hunger and SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns). Food loss occurs from farm up to processing/production, while food waste occurs at distribution, retail, food service and household level. The amount of food lost and wasted impacts food security, along with environment sustainability and economic stability.
As a responsible organization, ITC has always taken the lead to support the lives of consumers and stakeholders through credible sustainability initiatives. Evaluation of Food Loss & Waste has been an integral part of our overall value chain and this Policy further provides direction to our commitment towards FLW as part of our vision of Sustainability 2.0. We will continue to work towards supporting the SDG target 12.3, which is to "halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses, by 2030".
Reducing Food Loss & Waste also helps to meet the national nutrition & health goals of ending hunger and malnutrition. This Policy lays out our commitments in mitigating FLW at different stages of our value chain as below: -
A. Sourcing & Procurement
- To focus on education of farmers, suppliers, vendors- towards reduction of Food Loss & Waste management practices across value chain.
- Ensure responsible sourcing from our suppliers across value chain.
- To continue to review and improvise factory operations, to increase overall yield year on year using state of the art technology, leading to reduced food loss.
- Efficiently integrate rework management of food products during production to ensure better resource use.
- To use appropriate quality packaging material, that sustains the quality of food products, thereby minimising spoilage and waste.
- To innovate and provide consumers with packaging options like enhanced barrier, resealable caps, single serve packaging etc., and continuously work to improve the same.
- Ensure all our labels* carry appropriate storage conditions, manufacturing date and expiry date to enable consumers make informed choices.
- Continuously endeavour to increase shelf life and educate on expiry vs. Best before to minimise wastage.
D. Distribution & supply
- Manage supply chain to reduce food waste in distribution by optimizing inventory management and better logistics planning to enable First in first out and availability of products well within shelf life.
- Provide for appropriate storage including cold chain facilities to ensure food products reach consumers in appropriate quality.
E. Consumer & Employee Engagement
F. Valorisation of Food Loss & Waste
- Ensure Food Loss & Waste in our direct operations is reused in credible ways like for animal feed, which will contribute to the circular economy.
- To provide surplus food products to the vulnerable population, to support the objective of reducing food waste.
G. Review & reporting
- Periodic review of our direct operations to identify opportunities to reduce Food Loss & Waste.
- Responsibly communicate with appropriate stakeholders regarding steps taken to reduce Food Loss & Waste.
This policy is in line with our credo: ITC Nation First: Sab Saath Badhein and will further support and strengthen a sustainable future for all.