CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, US — Through its Harmony wheat sustainability program, Mondelez International, Inc. is changing the way wheat is grown and harvested across Europe.
According to the company, at the end of 2020, 76% of the volume of wheat needed to produce Mondelez’s biscuits across its EU business unit was grown under “Harmony Charter,” up 11 percentage points from 2019. The company’s goal is to reach 100% by 2022.
As part of its “Harmony Charter,” Mondelez, the world’s largest snack company, buys wheat on contract from farmers who commit to using 50 advanced agricultural practices set out by the company.
In its Snacking Made Right report released recently, Mondelez said more than more than 1,600 farmers have joined the program. In 2020, 215,330 tons of wheat flour was produced by the company’s 17 millers and 26 cooperatives.
“We monitor and measure the environmental and economic impact of Harmony practices,” Mondelez said. “Each year, 10% of farmers, all our storage bodies and all our millers are audited by independent organizations to ensure compliance with the Harmony Charter. To date, the program has led to nearly 15 million bees and 31 species of butterflies being observed in flowers sown around the Harmony fields (data harvest 2019).
“We aim to drive continuous improvement of Harmony Charter practices to improve our environmental impact, particularly when it also supports the quality of our biscuits and farmer partnerships. That’s why in 2020, we launched a new, holistic and integrated, initiative in France in collaboration with four of our Harmony cooperatives. The aim is to modernize our biscuit wheat portfolio, which is essential for our biscuit production. The objective in the first year is to screen biscuit wheat varieties according to their optimal environmental, technological, and farmer profitability performance. This includes ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve margins.”
Also in 2020, Mondelez said it introduced innovative blockchain technology used for the first time on a biscuit. According to Mondelez, the technology enables consumers to simply scan their pack of LU Véritable Petit Beurre, then enter the lot code, to access information on the full journey of Harmony sustainable wheat — from farms to biscuit manufacturing plant, for each lot of biscuit.