The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How ConAgra Foods promotes food safety and quality

Every year, approximately 48 million Americans get sick after eating contaminated food, with 130,000 among them hospitalized with foodborne illnesses. As a consequence, food safety and quality is a top priority for ConAgra Foods  Tweet This!, as a food company firmly committed to promoting food safety not only within the company’s own facilities, but across the food industry.

This case study is based on the 2016 Citizenship Report by ConAgra Foods published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Abstract

ConAgra Foods strives to address food safety and quality – a highly important issue to the company’s stakeholders – through a number of policies, programs and procedures. In order to promote food safety and quality ConAgra Foods took action to:

  • improve safety and quality through strategic sourcing
  • promote food safety through the food safety audit program
  • promote home food safety

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Citizenship Report ConAgra Foods identified a range of material issues, such as climate change and energy, waste, nutrition, water resources. Among these, promoting food safety and quality stands out as a key material issue for ConAgra Foods.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process s of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups ConAgra Foods engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Advocacy Groups
Consumers
Customers
Employees
Government
Investors
Suppliers

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

Το identify and prioritize material issues, ConAgra Foods carried out surveys and interviews among stakeholders. Representation from every part of the company’s value chain was ensured.

What actions were taken by ConAgra Foods to promote food safety and quality?

In its 2016 Citizenship Report ConAgra Foods reports that it took the following actions for promoting food safety and quality:

  • Improving safety and quality through strategic sourcing
  • ConAgra Foods makes sure, through the company’s supplier quality program – part of its procurement strategy –, that it only buys and uses ingredients that comply with food safety regulatory requirements. In addition, ConAgra Foods audits suppliers’ facilities through its internal audit team and registered certification agencies.
  • Promoting food safety through the food safety audit program
  • ConAgra Foods implements an internal food safety audit program. Accordingly, the company’s internal food safety and quality audit team identifies opportunities for improving food safety and quality. Moreover, internal food safety auditors visit ConAgra Foods’ facilities, observing employee behaviors and processes.
  • Promoting home food safety
  • ConAgra Foods partnered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to inform and educate consumers, through the Home Food Safety public awareness and education campaign, on home food safety and, more specifically, on how to safely handle, cook and store food at home.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicator addressed in this case is: G4-PR1: Percentage of significant product and service categories for which health and safety impacts are assessed for improvement and the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 416-1 Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by ConAgra Foods, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

 

Note to ConAgra Foods: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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