Let's do This Again! Fairfood International to Diageo on their Latest Sustainability Commitments

Sep 14, 2011, 11:28 ET from Fairfood International

AMSTERDAM, September 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Fairfood International is delighted to see that the world's leading premium drinks company, Diageo, has committed to sourcing sustainable cream in its newest Sustainability & Responsibility Report 2011, released yesterday.  

Friday nights are for laughing late with friends, not working late, especially with a bottle of Baileys. And those nights just got a little bit more sustainable. Fairfood International would like to applaud Diageo, owner of well-known brands such as Baileys Irish Cream, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan, for the steps it has taken towards sustainable production.

Diageo, with its outstanding collection of beverage brands, has committed to begin sourcing its cream sustainably, from Irish dairy company, Glanbia, in its newest Sustainability & Responsibility report.[1]

Fairfood International sees this as a significant moment for Diageo to ensure further sustainability commitments. Diageo has helped develop an advisory board to tackle issues in its supply chain related to greenhouse gases, animal welfare and water. The extent of these sustainability standards and criteria, related to this cream commitment, appears to be unclear at the moment. Fairfood International looks forward to the further development of this commitment towards more explicit and measurable policies, in the coming year.

Because of the undeniable impact that the company has on the beverage industry and society, Fairfood International has been encouraging Diageo to employ sustainable means of production since 2007. Fairfood has had constructive dialogues this past year with Diageo regarding its CSR and sustainability efforts. Furthermore, Fairfood is interested in hearing more about Diageo's efforts to increase the sustainability of its priority ingredients, including sugarcane, sorghum and malting barley.

According to Fairfood, sustainability includes issues such as corruption and tax policy. Diageo has recently been in the news for its $16 million settlement with the SEC for allegations concerning tax benefit related corruption.

Starting in August 2011, Fairfood initiated an open dialogue with Diageo on issues related to corruption and its corporate tax policies. Fatima van Hattum, Advocacy Manager for Fairfood, affirmed that, "Diageo's tax policy should reflect the same strong commitment to sustainability as its newest commitments to cream sourcing. We believe this is a critical and opportune time for Diageo to adopt a more transparent and sustainable position with regards to both its anti-corruption and tax policies." Fairfood has encouraged Diageo to incorporate tax responsibility in its supply chain by sharing specific recommendations from the new tax responsibility report by ActionAid, written in collaboration with FairPensions and Fairfood International.

Diageo believes, 'that financial success is only achievable in the long term if the way we achieve that success - the way we do business - is sustainable.' As Diageo continues to expand globally, Fairfood is excited to work together on its next sustainability commitments.

Note for the editor:

Fairfood International is a global movement of people passionate about facilitating change towards a sustainable food and beverage industry.

1. Diageo's new sustainability plans come as a result of earlier commitments made by Glanbia in July 2011 announcing its commitment to further enhance the on farm sustainability of its 4,300 Irish milk suppliers. The commitment refers to cream sourced from grass fed cows in Ireland. This program, an extension of Glanbia's Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme, will be operated in association with Bord Bia and was designed in tandem with some of Glanbia's key global ingredients customers, Diageo included.

SOURCE Fairfood International