Conagra emphasizes the focus on collaboration and transparency
CHICAGO – In 2022, Conagra Brands, Inc. made progress on environmental priorities including climate change, sustainable packaging and regenerative agriculture, while remaining committed to feeding the communities in which it operates. The company’s environmental and social change efforts were highlighted in its 2022 Citizenship Report, released earlier this month.
“We recognize how our business impacts the world, and our recent Citizenship Report underscores our focus on collaboration, transparency and action,” said Sean Connolly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Conagra. “It’s especially meaningful that our people continue to drive sustainable and societal impact across our business while delivering exceptional results.”
One of Conagra’s focuses is “Good Food,” which the company seeks to achieve through an ongoing effort to produce safe and nutritious food for its customers to enjoy.
The company works with suppliers to ensure its products and ingredients are as safe as possible and meet high quality standards. Each year, these suppliers contact an accredited certification body to ensure their food meets standards set by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Approximately 95% of Conagra’s direct suppliers have completed GFSI-recognized certification, and 100% of Conagra’s consumer products manufacturing facilities have completed GFSI-recognized certification.
Nutrition is another element Conagra strives for with its products, according to the Citizenship Report. The Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI), which assesses the health of a company’s product portfolio based on their Health Star rating system, assessed the nutritional quality of Conagra’s product portfolio in 2022. After rigorous testing, Conagra was ranked #1 in percentage sales of healthier products and #1 in its Health Star rating-based product profile. Conagra also has a line of vegan, plant-based proteins that generated more than $179 million in retail sales in fiscal 2022.
Conagra works with government agencies, retailers, and foodservice customers to produce foods that meet criteria for federal nutrition programs such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Children Nutrition Programs. At the end of its last fiscal year, the company added more than 350 stock keeping units (SKOs) to many WIC-approved product listings across the United States, enabling shoppers to purchase safe and nutritious groceries they may not have had access to before.
Another focus of Conagra is “Responsible Sourcing”. Conagra said in the Citizenship Report that it keeps a close eye on environmental and social impacts across the value chain when it comes to sourcing ingredients and packaging.
“One hundred percent of our direct suppliers are monitored daily and continuously for controversies,” the company noted. “And we have implemented additional risk management processes for bulk suppliers and suppliers of priority ingredients and packaging materials that may pose increased risks.”
According to Conagra, the Accountability Framework (AFi) rated 98.99% of Conagra’s critical primary deforestation-related feedstock quantities as deforestation-free for fiscal year 2021. The remaining raw material volume of 1.01% includes cocoa sourced directly from suppliers who have committed to achieve deforestation-free sourcing by 2025.
Conagra said it prioritizes the right plant and animal ingredients for its products. In fiscal 2022, total ingredient purchases by volume consisted of approximately 68% plant-based ingredients, 12% dairy and eggs, and 19% animal proteins. Conagra also pays attention to environmentally friendly packaging when working with suppliers. According to the report, approximately 93% of the company’s packaging materials in fiscal 2022 met its sustainable packaging success metrics by 2025 for renewable, recyclable or compostable packaging, which is in line with the reported progress for 2021.
Although Conagra’s R&D program to reduce packaging waste has been impacted by the recent industry-wide material shortages, the company has continued to develop plant fiber-based packaging as an alternative to plastic, resulting in an estimated £35 million in plastic saved since 2017.
To access the full report, please click here.