The AFGC is the peak industry body for Australia’s food and grocery manufacturers, the businesses that have the critical role of providing food and everyday essentials for the nation. The long-term future of the food and grocery manufacturing industry is intrinsically linked to the land, water and agriculture, which are all exposed to the effects of a changing climate. The science of climate change is clear, as are the risks of inaction to our industry.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) supports strong targets and action on climate change, consistent with the latest science and we support the adoption of a national target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The AFGC also supports a national, bipartisan approach by governments to emissions reduction.
Many AFGC member companies have made commitments to achieve net zero by 2050 or earlier, including strong interim targets of halving emissions by 2030, and many companies have already made significant investments in reducing their emissions intensity. For example:
- Mondelez International has invested in large-scale solar facilities at the Suttontown, South Australia factory where Philadelphia Cream Cheese is made, and the Scoresby, Victoria factory that makes Pascall, Sour Patch Kids and The Natural Confectionery Co. lollies. Mondelez has also switched to renewable energy at three Australian factories and reduced the carbon footprint of its five Australian plants by 80 per cent.
- Mars Australia has switched to 100 per cent renewable power for its six factories in Asquith, Ballarat, Bathurst, Wacol, Wodonga and Wyong and its two sales offices in Melbourne and Sydney. Globally Mars has committed to net zero by 2050 – including Scope 3 emission, which includes its suppliers and agricultural inputs.
- Nestlé, which operates six manufacturing facilities in Australia producing brands including Nescafe, Milo and Uncle Tobys, has committed globally to halving its emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. As part of this, Nestlé is moving towards carbon neutral brands – every cup of Nespresso coffee will be carbon neutral by 2022 and KitKat has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025.
- The Arnott’s Group, maker of Australian biscuits, has committed to achieving net zero emissions in operations by 2040 and across the value chain (Scope 3) by 2050.
- Breakfast cereal and snack company Kellogg signed a seven-year agreement with a solar farm in 2019 to offset all the energy used at its Botany, NSW factory and Australia and New Zealand head offices.
- And Mars, Kellogg and Manildra Group are working with industry, scientists and grain growers on the Cool Soil Initiative, a project examining how crop management can increase soil carbon and reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions.
The AFGC is working collectively with our members to reduce emissions through reducing food waste and creating a circular economy for packaging, including leading the development of the National Plastics Recycling Scheme.
In addition to this ongoing work, next year the AFGC will begin working with members and supply chain partners to better understand the range of abatement opportunities for the sector.
The AFGC commits to collaborate with governments on climate change policy and support programs and will support and guide members in their transition to lowering greenhouse emissions.