Herbs & Spices
The value of spices has been recognised for thousands of years and at Kerry they continue to play a crucial part in the delivery of our Taste & Nutrition solutions. As part of Kerry Group’s responsible sourcing programme, we have identified Spices as a strategically important raw material and remain focused on improving the sustainability of the products we source, as laid out in our Herbs & Spices Position Statement.
Ensuring sustainable spice production can be a complex challenge given the potential for adulteration, environmental impacts and poor working conditions within the supply chain. Identification of these issues is often made more difficult by the fact that many producers are smallholders with numerous links between them and the end user.
In order to overcome this and achieve a greater level of transparency, we have established a programme that aims to source only from primary processors. These supply partners are chosen for their consistent high quality and reliability, their proximity to farming communities and their commitment to working in close collaboration with farmers.
Our strict quality and ethical requirements are clearly communicated through our Supplier Requirements Manual and Kerry conducts risk assessments and quality audits to ensure compliance. Additionally, Kerry uses the SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) platform to help monitor performance and identify suppliers where further engagement may be required and all of our strategic supply partners for herbs and spices are SEDEX members.
As a single actor our potential impact in this area is limited. Sustainably certified spices are not widely available and certification programmes are in their infancy relative to other commodities.
At Kerry, we have teamed up with industry partners and key stakeholders through the Sustainable Spices Initiative (SSI) to find more collaborative ways to accelerate and scale sustainability within the category. SSI is a public private consortium founded and steered by leading players in the spices sector. SSI aims to transform the mainstream spice industry into a more sustainable sector, securing future sourcing, tackling food safety issues and boosting economic growth in producing countries.
Alongside other SSI members, Kerry supports and initiates fully sustainable spice production and responsible trade in the sector. We will provide a detailed update on the work underway in our progress report at the end of 2018.