Is it possible to create a sustainable food supply chain? Let’s find out together with the Loacker case

Thanks to the synergetic role of UniSMART, the foundation of the University of Padua that acts as a bridge between university excellence and the business world, an important and innovative collaboration in the field of environmental sustainability has emerged between Loacker and Spinlife.

Spinlife’s expertise combined with Loacker’s vision, which has been revolutionising its corporate management model for some time, has led to the creation of SET – Sustainability Evaluation Tool, a tailor-made tool capable of identifying the main ESG sustainability requirements in the food sector and assessing their compliance and implementation by its raw material suppliers.

The operation of the SET tool is based on collecting information from the supply chain via an appropriate questionnaire and then processing the collected data to obtain an ESG score for each individual supplier.

To realise this tool, the real challenge was to identify scientific and measurable criteria on which to base the questions. We carried out an analysis of the economic, social and environmental context of four representative supply chains: milk, hazelnuts, cocoa and coconut oil. The study included the search for statistical data and qualitative-quantitative information on the main productions and markets, thus identifying the main issues of each supply chain starting with the countries of origin.

This analysis was carried out with a scientific approach, drawing information mainly from the main ISO standards, scientific publications, international foundations and public sustainability reports.

This fundamental information was then translated into a set of indicators for assessing the sustainability of each supply chain. These indicators were transformed into the questions to be included in the supplier questionnaire in order to ensure clarity, unambiguous answers and the possibility of monitoring through documentary evidence. Each question was given a weight related to the results of the materiality analysis, and each answer was given a score.

Once the answers were collected, Loacker could enter them into the SET spreadsheet: the results returned allowed the company to qualify suppliers based on their level of environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Spinlife is proud to have taken part in this project and to have best interpreted the UniSMART Community’s Open Innovation concept by supporting one of Italy’s most important confectionery companies in developing a sophisticated tool for assessing the sustainability of the food supply chain. We hope that this case study can serve as an example to others and that it will inspire new companies to improve the sustainability performance of their value chain.