ITC believes in providing Indian consumers wholesome and enjoyable food experiences. Towards this, ITC offers food products across multiple categories, channels, price points, delivery formats and segments to cater to a wide spectrum of consumer preferences whilst addressing the nutritional and scientific principles enunciated by various authorities. ITC's endeavour to create and nurture world-class Indian brands also enable consumers to make informed choices that are influenced by myriad factors such as taste, attitudes, beliefs, price, product safety and quality. ITC's Triple Bottom Line approach to create larger societal value is also manifest in the Company's food brands which anchor a sustainable eco-system and inclusive value chains from farm to fork, empowering farmers and enhancing livelihoods.
ITC's Foods Business is committed to the below seven overarching principles that guide strategy and action.
These principles are:
To drive consumer led innovations for developing nutritious and tasty offerings.
To reinforce the promise of safe and high-quality food.
To provide assurance of food accessibility and food availability in line with environmental & societal sustainability goals.
To pursue research and science-based product development leveraging the state-of-art ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre (LSTC).
To ensure responsible marketing and communication.
To develop & strengthen external partnerships and collaborations
To enhance employee health & wellness
1. Consumer led innovations for developing nutritious and tasty offerings
ITC accords top priority to delivering superior, delightful, wholesome and nutritious food product options to address the needs of discerning consumers. As an enterprise deeply rooted in the Indian soil and as an Indian conglomerate, the Company believes that it is best suited to cater to the food needs of the aspiring Indian. Recognizing the evolving aspirations of the Indian consumer, new products are being developed and launched to cater to the taste, nutrition and the convenience expectations of consumers. Accordingly, the key focus areas are as follows:
The taste and nutrition needs of the consumers are different across markets and demographics. Cognizing for this diversity in the country, a wide portfolio of brands and products will be continuously developed and offered to meet consumer needs across all segments. Such a portfolio of offerings together with information will empower consumers to make enlightened choices.
It is well known that brands, food products and services have a vital role to play in enabling healthier lives. Accordingly, the company supports "The Eat Right Movement" (TERM) and focusses on the reduction of High Fat, Sugar, Salt (HFSS) parameters in its product portfolio, in line with its public commitments.
We will continue to have a 100% Trans Fat free portfolio (originating from HVO's).
We will continuously improve and track our current products and innovations on HFSS parameters in sync with our TERM Pledge.
The Company will endeavour to add products to its portfolio that enhance the positive nutrition quotient through the pillars of strong fundamentals namely Fortification, Enrichment and Diet Diversification.
Wherever and whenever appropriate, the effort will be to include fresher, more locally produced ingredients in the Company's products. Such products will be stored and processed in an appropriate manner to retain their taste, freshness and nutrient qualities intact for a longer period.
As a responsible industry leader, the Company will aim to share relevant knowledge and expertise with wider industry and regulatory bodies as appropriate.
All ITC's food products will follow a strict code for making all label declarations and claims in accordance to the national and applicable global laws.
The Company is committed to providing safe and high-quality food in line with the stringent standards laid down by the authorities. Product quality continues to be given high priority at every stage of product development, manufacturing and supply chain.
Quality - All manufacturing units have quality control labs to ensure consistent quality of all developed products. The Central Quality Assurance Lab (CQAL) at ITC's LSTC and the Regional Quality Assurance Labs (RQAL) in Kapurthala & Pudukkottai are equipped with world-class infrastructure to constantly monitor physical, chemical, microbiological and sensorial attributes of existing as well as newly developed products. ITC's R&D infrastructure is of international standards, and ITC LSTC has been certified with ISO 14001-2015 for EHS and CQAL accredited as per ISO 17025 by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) for technical competence in analytical processes.
All manufacturing units are HACCP certified and conform to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India regulatory norms.
The Company's storage and supply chain infrastructure as well as products are constantly monitored to ensure that quality is maintained consistently across the supply chain. This is done through rigorous in-process monitoring and controls, supported with internal and external analysis of products from ISO 17025 accredited laboratories, thereby complying with the regulatory requirements and maximizing consumer satisfaction.
Customer care - Satisfied customers are crucially important and integral to ITC's Foods business model. A dedicated customer care team has been set up to respond and resolve concerns to enable high levels of customer satisfaction.
3. Assurance of Food Accessibility and Availability in a sustainable manner for all
Availability - It is ITC's endeavour to ensure the widest availability of its various food products by enabling efficient distribution across all geographies and channels including both urban and rural centres, leveraging its FMCG distribution infrastructure as well as ITC e-Choupal's rural distribution reach.
Accessibility - Given the huge affordability divide across India, ITC strives to ensure accessibility of its products across demographics through the adoption of a pack and brand portfolio approach across all relevant price segments. The endeavour is to make available more nutritious offerings across diverse price points to enable easier adoption.
Environmental & Societal Sustainability - ITC's environmental stewardship is manifest in its carbon positive, solid waste recycling positive and water positive status for more than a decade and will continue to inspire its businesses to deliver superior environmental performance. The Company recognises the imperative need not only to address the growing need for food products as a result of the increasing population, demographic dynamics and rising incomes, but also to do so in a sustainable manner to secure current and future generations.
The agri-sourcing strategy and social investment initiatives will continue to support large-scale sustainable agriculture, replenishment of natural resources and creation of rural community assets that enhance productivity and quality of crops, thereby empowering farmers and raising rural incomes. Company's strategy of backward integration in sourcing of agri-commodities such as wheat, potato, fruit pulp, spices etc. through Company's Agri Business Division facilitates access to critical inputs at benchmark quality and competitive cost besides ensuring security of supplies.
The company also pursues sustainable manufacturing practices with superior environmental performance whilst being sensitive to the socio-economic context at the local level. The company aims to meet 100% of our entire energy need from renewable sources by 2030. ITC also aims to achieve 50% reduction in specific emissions and 30% reduction in specific energy emission by 2030 over 2014-15 baseline.
ITC is set to move beyond ‘plastic waste neutrality' in the next fiscal year. The company will replace and recycle more plastic than it would use through its operations. The company will also ensure that 100% packaging would be reusable/ recyclable/ compostable by 2028.
The company is committed to the reduction of wastage of nutritious food produced in its supply chain given that it not only impacts the value generated by the business but is also a missed opportunity to feed those in need.
Community Health Initiatives- within the larger framework of ITC's MSK (Mission Sunhera Kal), focus will be on supporting the health of women and children across life stages using the "Swasthya Choupal " as a key platform of bringing change. This would be closely aligned to the national health & nutrition intervention program of Mission Poshan 2.0. The aim is to reach 1 lakh beneficiaries by 2025.
4. Research and science-based product development leveraging the state-of-art ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre (LSTC)
The Company firmly believes in the true value of research and science-based technology led product development. Towards this, ITC's strong portfolio of world-class brands and products is supported by cutting-edge research and development executed by the globally benchmarked, state-of-the art ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre (LSTC) in Bengaluru. This Centre pursues game-changing R&D and cutting-edge innovation with a world-class team of highly qualified scientists. Some of the key focus areas that LSTC is engaged in include:
Development of Ingredients, Functional foods for India specific metabolic disorders.
Supporting the organizational commitments towards HFSS reduction.
Supporting the Foods business by solving technological challenges facing its current products in order to make them tastier, nutritious and more affordable.
5. Responsible marketing
ITC believes that transparent, ethical and responsible communication drives consumer awareness and is key to develop trust, consumer behaviour and choice for its world-class brands.
The Company strives to ensure that all its product labelling, claims and communications follow the applicable laws of the land and guidelines laid down by the relevant authorities.
The Company continues to adopt self-regulation on responsible communication and marketing besides adhering to the codes prescribed by the Advertising Standards Council of India.
With the growing impact of social marketing and the concerns emerging from misleading and fake news by unscrupulous players, the Company has put in place mechanisms that enables dissemination of the right facts about our products and brands to consumers to ensure the reputational equity of our brands.
All communication, advertising, marketing to children, point of sale, endorsements, sampling, activations, displays, celebrity engagements, toys, gifting, school tie-ups and selling etc. will be done in accordance to the ITC Foods Marketing and Communication Policy.
The Company is committed to providing the best available product and services to its consumers. Accordingly, the endeavour is to continuously connect with credible and responsible experts who share similar interests in the field of food science & technology, nutrition and scientific research.
In pursuance of this effort, the Company not only relies on its in-house experts at our research and technology centres but also in forging partnerships with appropriate expert networks. This enables the enterprise to broaden and deepen its knowledge related to key areas of research and innovation.
The Company is a member of several prestigious and credible scientific bodies as well as technology groups, at both national and international levels for scientific research and specific projects.
7. Enhanced employee health & wellness:
100% of the employees to be trained towards nutrition, health and wellness to encourage them to adopt healthy diets & active lifestyle.
All ITC Foods corporate campus and Integrated Manufacturing sites (ICMLs) to follow TERM guidelines as laid down by FSSAI and to be evaluated under the "Eat Right Certification" program.
We support the breastfeeding mothers by providing a positive & supportive work environment and having a dedicated breastfeeding room and a day-care facility at our corporate campus.
This policy is communicated to all employees in an appropriate and meaningful manner.
ITC believes in the principle of self-regulation. With this in mind, ITC Units have appropriate systems and processes in place to ensure compliance with the Policy and with statutory provisions, including processing of grievances for redressal. Divisional / SBU Chief Executives, through members of the respective Management Committees, will ensure implementation of, and seek confirmation of compliance with this Policy.
The Policy shall be reviewed annually and will be used as a guiding principle to continuously enhance our product portfolio, communication platform and stakeholder's engagement in order to provide the best-in-class consumer & customer experience. This Policy would be aligned with the best practices evolved in the area of food, nutrition, health and quality.