Q: The recently launched strategy marks the next step in Deoleo’s sustainability journey. What opportunities will your strategy unlock for positive impact?
We’ve always sought better ways to do things. Our strategy is the next iteration of this, a chance to step up and lead our industry in caring for people and our environment. We’ve set robust goals because we truly want to be a force for good and, with our global footprint, believe there is potential to achieve wide-spread positive change.
Our strategy adds value for everyone involved. We’re taking olive oil and finding new ways to produce it to protect and restore the planet. We’re also partnering with olive growers and mills to secure their livelihoods while continuing to make products that people love and that support healthier lifestyles.
We’re just beginning this journey. However, I believe our strategy will be critical in guaranteeing Deoleo is seen as an industry leader for positive impact, providing a platform through which to showcase the progress we have already made and will continue to make going forward.
Q: Why is sustainability important for the food and beverage industry and, more specifically, the olive oil sector?
The global food and beverage industry is a multi-billion-dollar operation. The olive oil market alone was worth USD 13.03 billion in 2019. That represents a significant challenge for changing how things are done but it also offers huge scope for sustainable change.
Relying on agriculture for our key raw material – olives – our category is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts and uncertain growing seasons. Integrating Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) to build resiliency against unexpected events makes business sense. But acting sustainably also protects nature, safeguards farmers against market fluctuations and ensures fair and safe worker conditions. And pushing for quality assurance standards and industry transparency guarantees consumers credible products that align with their values and encourages brand loyalty.
Q: How did the events of 2020 affect your commitment to caring for people and the environment?
Recent events have indeed created global instability, but they’ve also highlighted where people’s priorities lie – environmental protection, health and wellbeing and equitable access to opportunities. This is why launching our strategy now is a timely decision. Through it, we’ve committed to addressing these priorities, establishing three pillars which will enable us to target our work to support climate action and care for all our stakeholders. It adds strength to our company purpose to care for what cares for you and reinforces our dedication to protecting the legacy of an ancient product that promotes health and nutrition.
Q: What does the future look like at Deoleo? How will you deliver this?
At Deoleo, we centre decisions around value creation, rather than maximising production volumes. Continuing this approach relies on a team effort, inspiring colleagues across the business to adopt this mindset. Our teams are working hard to ensure Deoleo is seen as a global ambassador for sustainable olive oil, defending the land and those who depend upon it.