Growing sustainably makes good business sense. It is key to savoury snack companies’ long-term competitiveness. Our members strive to continuously improve their environmental sustainability and use sustainable practices to protect and promote natural resources, also aiming at securing key raw materials for the manufacture of savoury snacks in the future.

The European Snacks Association (ESA) therefore supports the objectives of the EU Green Deal, the flagship initiative of the European Commission, and stands ready to embark on a genuine transition toward a sustainable food system as part of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy and other initiatives such as the New Circular Economy Action Plan.

Savoury snacks manufacturers continuingly strive to preserve the value of the resources they use throughout the supply chain. Fostering a sustainable agriculture is a key element1 and manufacturers, amongst other actions, are taking measures on water conservation (from improved crop irrigation on the field to optimum water usage in production facilities), limiting food wastage of raw materials (including oils), and energy savings.

Several ESA members have implemented innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking energy efficiency measures such as upgrading energy equipment, improving logistics and transport within the value chain, using alternative energy sources to fossil fuel-based energy, and increasing the use of renewable energy sources.

This approach covers the sourcing and processing of agricultural raw materials, the development of packaging materials, the consumption of our products, and the adoption of a circular and sustainable approach throughout operations.

At ESA, we value the quality, safety and origin of the ingredients used in the production of savoury snacks products. Responsible sourcing, in all its aspects, is a major consideration when procuring raw materials and our members, along with their suppliers, share the responsibility to ensure practices are in place in origin countries which are consistent with the standards and principles fundamental to our members.

ESA Member companies have in place individual and proprietary procedures related to supply practices. Among the basic principles which we share and which ESA encourages its members to adopt is the recommendation to use the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code or an equivalent programme related to employment practices.

Improving packaging sustainability is another cornerstone of the sector’s approach to a circular economy. ESA members are determined to find solutions to sustainable packaging that maximise the use of resources and minimise waste, while constantly ensuring the optimum safety and quality of their products. In order to achieve this objective, ESA signed up to the Circular Plastics Alliance, an initiative promoted by the European Commission that brings together the entire plastics value chain to boost the EU market for recycled plastics.

1 Several ESA members are part of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI)