To mark its 175th anniversary, Unilever's biggest food brand Knorr has announced progress on its commitment to sustainably sourcing its ingredients and revealed the results of a new global consumer survey looking at shopping attitudes and purchase behaviour.
The study shows that food sustainability is not only a business and environmental imperative, but a highly significant priority for consumers across the world, including developing markets.
Results from the survey show, that a very high proportion (88%) agree that it is important to treat farmland with respect and in a way that protects it for future generations; 85% felt it is important that global organisations, including big business, share sustainable practices with the farmers they work with.
Respondents in developing markets agreed even more strongly, with China (98%), Brazil (97%) and South Africa (96%) in agreement.
75% said they would be more likely to purchase a product if they knew it was made from sustainably sourced ingredients. They also believed their food would be of higher quality as a result.
Critically, the survey revealed many purchase decision makers have little idea about how to identify the sustainability credentials of their food with only 36% of those surveyed saying they could accurately do so.
Mr. Polman added that Unilever and large food brands, such as Knorr, have the size and influence to act. Unilever Foods Category President Antoine de Saint-Affrique went on to map out Knorr's bold sustainable sourcing commitments. "Given the importance of vegetables and herbs to Knorr products, the brand has made sustainable agriculture a strategic priority," he said.
Knorr have committed to various goals, including: sustainably sourcing 100% of their agricultural ingredients including vegetables, herbs, meat and spices by 2020, to make available â¬10m for sustainable agriculture initiatives for suppliers and farmers by 2020 and to continue to showcase farms that are most advanced in sustainable farming practices as 'Knorr Landmark Farms'.
Alongside the research results, Knorr announced a new initiative called the Knorr Sustainability Partnership, who's logo will be placed on product packaging to help consumers clearly identify products featuring sustainably sourced ingredients.