Five minutes with Didier Laffineur, Regional Managing Director of Ferrero Gulf
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Five minutes with Didier Laffineur, regional managing director of Ferrero Gulf

Five minutes with Didier Laffineur, regional managing director of Ferrero Gulf

Ferrero closed the financial year with a consolidated global turnover of Eur12.3bn, and has ensured that sustainability is an integral part of its business model

Didier Laffineur, Regional Managing Director of Ferrero Gulf

How have some of the key markets in the GCC performed recently?
Despite the uncertainties caused by Covid-19, globally, we closed the financial year with a consolidated turnover of Eur12.3bn.

In terms of GCC markets, while our sales numbers are not made public, we’re proud to share with you that in the past year our regional sales have demonstrated steady growth and our market share continues to increase across the markets and categories in which we are active.

Our strong growth path for the region is also driven by the creation of JVs with our distributors – first with Al Seer Group in the UAE in 2018 and more recently with Al Bustan Al Khaleej in Kuwait. Thanks to these JVs we can now work together to directly distribute Ferrero products across key markets. This will inevitably lead to new avenues of growth, which include opportunities for local business expansion and the development of new products or strategies.

Looking ahead, our aim is to continue the momentum of the last few years by sustaining our winning formula: focusing on the quality, freshness, food safety, competitiveness and environmental impact of our products.

What were some of the most noteworthy findings from Ferrero’s recent sustainability report?
Our recently-released 12th Sustainability Report is aligned to our four key pillars: protect the environment, source ingredients sustainably, promote responsible consumption and empower people.

One of our new ambitious targets is to continue to significantly reduce the group’s carbon footprint by 2030.

In terms of additional specific goals accomplished, Ferrero has achieved the goal of sourcing 100 per cent sustainable cocoa beans through independently managed schemes and 100 per cent certified cane sugar.

Since renewable energy is critical to Ferrero’s efforts to achieving its carbon reduction goals, we purchased 100 per cent green electricity for our manufacturing plants in Europe in fiscal year 2019-2020. In fact, 71.5 per cent of the electricity purchased globally was from renewable sources.

From a packaging front, in 2019, we announced a commitment to make 100 per cent of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. As of 2020, we have achieved 82.9 per cent and we continue with our strong commitment to fulfilling this journey.

Lastly, the report shows that Ferrero has continued to build on its efforts over the past decade to enhance its human rights approach. This has been delivered through collaboration with leading experts to identify human rights risks and build out our due diligence approach, as well as entering partnerships to scale positive impact such as with Save the Children.

Ferrero announced new global partnerships with Consumer Goods Forum and HolyGrail 2.0. What has this meant for the group?
Both these partnerships aim to further solidify Ferrero’s dedication to making 100 per cent of [our] packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Signing Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Plastic Waste Coalition’s new Golden Design rules, serves as another commitment to assess and redesign the critical elements of packaging, highlighting the need for alignment and scale to drive positive change globally.

We have also joined HolyGrail 2.0, facilitated by AIM – the European Brands Association as associate partner to further demonstrate our commitment to innovation in plastic packaging sorting and investing in pilot projects to improve current sorting technology gaps. The project sets out to prove the viability of digital watermarking technologies for accurate waste sorting, resulting in more efficient and higher-quality recycling.

More specifically, with this pilot, we recognise the opportunity to put in place sorting for a dedicated stream of food packaging plastics that will, in turn, generate recycled materials to be reused in line with circular economy best practices.

What are the latest updates from Ferrero’s Palm Oil Charter?
In this new Palm Oil Charter,  Ferrero is outlining our ambition to achieve a palm oil industry that is good for both people and nature. Originally announced in 2013, our first Palm Oil Charter acted as a driver for the group’s development of its responsible palm oil supply chain.

Today, we go a step further, by strengthening our commitments and progress through an updated Charter, developed with Earthworm Foundation.

As a baseline, Ferrero sources sustainable palm oil that is 100 per cent Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified, segregated and traceable back to plantations: a goal initially reached in 2015. Our approach towards responsible sourcing of palm oil goes beyond this high certification standard through active membership in Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) an High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), two of the highest value endorsement initiatives currently available for the industry.

As part of this approach, the new Charter outlines further actions, tackling three key strategic areas identified as critical in an intricate industry where environmental and social issues are oftentimes deeply rooted, complex, and interconnected: human rights and social practices; environmental protection and sustainability; and supplier transparency.

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