Sustainability & Health: Making Change Happen

As a group, Menus of Change sponsors are driving important innovation in the foodservice industry. In their own words, here’s what a number of sponsors have told us are important, new developments to advance sustainability and health in their own companies, product lines, and growing/production practices.

Grand Platinum

Unilever’s purpose is ‘to make sustainable living commonplace.’ Under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, this is executed through three pillars: improving health and well-being, reducing our environmental impact, and enhancing livelihoods. We are working in partnerships where we can help create change on a global scale: deforestation, climate change, water, sanitation and hygiene, sustainable agriculture, and more.

At Unilever Food Solutions, we are focused on improving health and well-being by helping chefs make meals healthier through our service, Seductive Nutrition.  This service is focused on helping chefs create delicious meals that are more nutritious and have appealing menu descriptions. Learn more at ufs.com.

Premium Gold

Hinoman helps meet the soaring global demand for sustainably produced, nutrient-rich food with Mankai®, a wholesome novel leaf vegetable cultivated with breakthrough technology. Our non-GMO plant-breeding technology allowed us to maximize the potential of a plant discovered in Southeast Asia. Mankai® is a leafy green vegetable with unprecedented nutrient composition. In its dried form, Mankai® is 45 percent plant protein and packed with bioavailable vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients that promote health. Manka®i is a versatile ingredient—sustainably grown in water-conserving hydroponic facilities—that can be used in the fresh, frozen, or dried form in everything from beverages and breads to sauces, soups, and more without altering the original flavor or aroma. Learn more today.

Gold

Land O’Lakes is a farmer owned co-op committed to creating better livelihoods, being good stewards of our natural resources, and building strong communities. Our conservation of land, water, and air with public and private partners is the foundation of creating high-quality dairy with fewer resources. From our entrepreneurial beginnings in 1921, Land O’Lakes has produced delicious, wholesome dairy products enjoyed by all. Our culinary team helps chefs keep an eye on flavor trends and transform classics into flavorful, satisfying dishes making healthful modifications to suit many diet requirements.

Learn more at www.landolakesfoodservice.com

The National Honey Board advocates for the sustainable production of honey. We are dedicated to ensuring honey is sustainable today and for future generations. This begins with healthy bees, and extends to protecting the resources they depend on.

Our commitment is to share the vital role honey bees play as premiere pollinators and stewards of our environment. Without them, the food we depend on would dwindle as pollinator foods, including those pollinated by honey bees, represent one in every three bites of food that we eat.

For more information on honey, honey bees and pollination, and our commitment to sustainability, visit www.honey.com

Rich’s supports its customers by helping them meet the needs of today’s market. That’s why it has been transforming its portfolios to include more healthful, and sustainable foods. Its expanded offerings—which include options like vegan, whole-grain and gluten-free—allow customers to meet the growing demand for fresh, better-for-you, and personalized food experiences. 

Rich’s is committed to sustainability to ensure a healthy and successful future for its customers and communities. The company focuses on environmental impact reduction and enhancing livelihoods through initiatives like sustainable sourcing (e.g., seafood and palm oil), waste management, and employee volunteerism. Learn more at Richs.com

Sysco Corporation is the global leader in foodservice distribution, and its unique position requires it to operate its business sustainably and responsibly. 

Sysco has identified three aspects of its business where the potential impact is greatest and the best opportunities exist to improve sustainability within its company: people, products, and planet. 

Sysco’s commitments are demonstrated through long-standing programs such as continuous improvements in food safety, sustainable seafood sourcing practices, and the proven technologies in its operations that reduce the impact of the company’s carbon footprint.

Increasingly, customers need information about their food; Sysco addresses the health and nutrition of its offerings through a variety of tools, programs, education, and training that complement the Menus of Change principles. Sysco’s leaders know that their services make the difference between a good customer relationship and a great one. 

To learn more about Sysco’s sustainable practices, health and nutrition, visit www.sysco.com/corporate-social-responsibility.

At The Wonderful Company, we’re passionate about growing high-quality, great-tasting fruit and nut products you’ve come to know and love. First and foremost, we’re growers. That means we control the land and have oversight over the entire process from planting to picking, from tree to table. We grow, market, and sell only wholesome, nutritious fruit, nuts, and beverages because we believe that what you put into your body matters.

Bronze

At Barilla, people and the planet have been at the center of our way of doing business for 140 years. We do it by trying to improve every day, from the field to the table. It starts with sustainable agriculture: working side-by-side with farmers carefully choosing raw materials, to make sure that they are good, high quality, and produced in ways that respect the people and the environment. We also source locally in the countries in which we produce: 80 percent of durum wheat and 100 percent of tomatoes, rye, and flour.We only choose suppliers that share our animal welfare values, with 80 percent of our eggs coming from cage-free chickens. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact: In the past five years we have reduced CO2 emissions by 23 percent and water consumption by 19 percent, and we intend to keep improving each year. For more information about Barilla’s sustainability efforts around the world, visit barillacfn.com/en/

How we make our food is just as important as what we make. From the way our ingredients are grown to the recyclable materials used in our paperboard packaging, sustainability is a part of everything we do. It’s how we bring you all that tasty goodness while lightening the footprint we leave behind.  As the demand for global food resources grows, we remain focused on being part of a sustainable solution. Daiya is a delicious, plant-based solution that we believe is better for animal welfare, better for the future of our planet, and most importantly will make you feel better.

For more information, please visit www.daiyafoods.com

Danone North America’s ambition is to produce healthful foods that create economic and social value and nurture natural ecosystems through sustainable agriculture. Bringing together portfolios of dairy and plant-based products enables it to better serve consumers’ diverse preferences in high-growth and evolving categories. 

As a newly certified B Corp, Danone North America is taking bold steps for social good. The company is changing the way many of its foods and beverages are made by progressing certain flagship brands toward the use of fewer ingredients that are more natural, not synthetic, and non-GMO. 

It is working with some of its farmer partners to plant non-GMO feed and is committed to sustainable agriculture, water conservation, waste reduction, animal welfare, and community engagement, changing the way the world eats to benefit both people’s and our planet’s health. 

Danone North America offers innovative dairy, plant-based, and coffee options you’re looking for. Not to mention, turnkey marketing support. That really is all kinds of better.

Over 30 years ago, illy pioneered the direct trade model by cultivating personal, long-lasting relationships with coffee growers. By working directly with them to produce the best of the best beans and purchasing them at prices substantially higher than market values, illy ensures the growers make a good profit.

Quality and sustainability are intertwined at illy and essential to deliver on the mission to offer the greatest coffee to the world.

  Improved Nature® is one of the world’s most exciting sustainable food innovators responding to the ever-increasing demand for sustainable plant-based protein. Our world is our responsibility and we take pride in positively impacting the environment through all stages of our production. All Improved Nature® plant proteins are accredited as sustainably sourced and we are committed to zero deforestation. We provide heat and serve options that will satisfy the most selective consumer. We offer culinary support to work with your Chefs and culinary team to help create new plant-based protein solutions in today’s changing world. Our unique, proprietary method of producing food is a low-cost, competitive protein option.

Learn more at www.improvednature.com.

Lentils.org is actively working to increase the awareness and consumption of delicious and nutritious lentils in North America. High in protein and fiber, lentils are an economical and sustainable source of plant-based protein. Lentils, and other pulses, use less fertilizer and improve soil health by fixing nitrogen back into the soil during the growing process. Lentils and other pulses also have a low carbon footprint, are resilient in the face of climate change, and require relatively low water inputs. Working on behalf of growers who are committed to sustainable agricultural practices and respecting the environment, Lentils.org looks forward to supporting menu innovation using lentils. Learn more at www.lentils.org/foodservice/

The Mushroom Council represents growers of cultivated mushrooms in the U.S., creating demand through education, promotion, and nutrition research. The Council plays a critical role in showcasing how mushrooms meet the culinary and nutrition challenges of today’s marketplace.

With the development of The Blend, in partnership with the CIA’s Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative, and the launch of The Blended Burger Project with James Beard Foundation, the Mushroom Council has created a movement that strives to make burgers, and other iconic foods, better by blending chopped mushrooms with ground meat—creating a more delicious, nutritious, and sustainable dish.

According to a new sustainability study, mushrooms are one of the most sustainable products grown in the U.S.

Go to www.mushroomsonthemenu.com for more information, fresh mushroom ideas, recipes and The Blend.

At New Wave Foods®, we are driven by both culinary and the environment.  Our mission is to protect the vitality of ocean life by producing the most delicious, sustainable, plant-based shellfish in the world.  As environmentalists, we understand the negative impact that shellfish farming, or fishing, has on the oceans and mangroves.  Working with The Culinary Institute of America, restaurant chefs, and food scientists, we developed our first product, New Wave plant-based shrimp.  With the taste and texture of real shrimp and one-for-one substitution for shrimp in any recipe, eating New Wave Shrimp™ is a deliciously easy way to act locally and have a global environmental impact.  New Wave Shrimp™ is the first step in a line of products that will eventually include New Wave Crab™ and New Wave Lobster™.  New Wave Foods®.  Shellfish, evolved.™ We disrupt seafood, not oceans.™

Olive Oils from Spain is the promotional brand of The Spanish Olive Oil Interprofessional, which is a non-profit organization established by the entities representing the different operators in the olive oil industry (olive growers, cooperatives, factories, bottlers, and exporters), with the aim of serving as an industry improvement tool. We work to ensure that the greatest number of consumers around the world appreciate the quality of our oils, a quality that is linked to their origin in Spain. We drive and lead R&D programs with the aim of promoting innovation in the areas related to olive oil: sustainability, biodiversity, growth, processing, consumption, and, of course, health.

The distinctive “Jaén Selección,” created by the Diputación de Jaén, includes the best extra-virgin oils from each harvest. With this label being an indicator of excellence, “Jaén Selección” oils are a safe bet for sustainability of this unique growing region, a healthy diet, and gastronomic innovation.

Learn more at www.oleotourjaen.es

As a second-generation family business, RC Fine Foods focuses on making products to meet the demands of our customers, and ensure that our operations minimize our impact on the environment. From our solar arrays for electricity and water to our LED lighting, we have reduced our power needs by almost 40% in less than 10 years. Most of our packaging is recyclable, further reducing our impact on landfills, and our expanding line of plant-forward and plant-based products help operators reduce or replace meat-based menu items. We also focus on sustainability in our ingredients by utilizing responsibly sourced items in our products. RC Fine Foods is committed to making the highest quality products while using the best practices for our customers, our co-workers and our planet. To learn more, please visit www.rcfinefoods.com

The United Sorghum Checkoff supports the stewardship of the U.S. farmer network in providing this vital ancient grain as a food, feed, and fuel source, and its enduring legacy of sustaining many different international cultures for hundreds of years.  As a crop that has endured the harshest climates and soil conditions through the centuries, its resiliency results in a crop that is planted on nearly 100 million acres globally due to its inherent sustainable nature.  This is reflected in its intrinsic traits to utilize one half to one third as much water as comparable crops.

In the US alone, over 90 percent of sorghum acres use no supplemental irrigation water and ¾ of the US sorghum acres promote the highest form of soil conservation techniques via reduced tillage practices.  Additionally, U.S. drivers travel billions of miles each year on renewable fuels derived from sorghum-based biofuels and the crop itself provides one of the most sought-after wildlife habitats, especially for game birds, after it has been harvested due to its crop stand characteristics.  Visit us at www.simplysorghum.com or www.sorghumcheckoff.com to learn about consumer, environmental, and agricultural benefits from utilizing this super grain!!

At Wayne Farms, we work with our customers to make healthy poultry products for the world’s largest brands. Sustainable practices and principle-based leadership guide decisions, ensuring superior product safety and quality. Since 1965, we’ve built a cultural foundation of integrity and excellence where customers are valued, employees championed, and communities supported.

We employ leading-edge practices, processes, and science to meld stringent animal welfare and nutritional standards with safety and quality principles. Our vertically-integrated approach begins with local farmers supplying our processing facilities and feed mills, letting us control quality from farm to fork.

To learn more about Wayne Farms’ commitment to making chicken amazing, visit www.waynefarms.com

Wismettac’s legacy spans over 100 years, building a global network of innovative Asian foods and ingredients for distribution worldwide.  Our dedication to ethical and sustainable farming methods and maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety has earned our customers’ trust.  We are continuously expanding our Shirakiku brand portfolio to provide more plant based and all-natural food products for the finest menus of Asian style culinary dishes.

Supporting

Aramark’s mission to deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives lets us put our sustainability goals into action by focusing on initiatives that engage employees, empower healthy living, preserve our planet and build local communities.  In 2015, as part of the groundbreaking initiative Healthy for Life® 20 by 20 with the American Heart Association, Aramark launched a major plant-forward initiative to elevate healthy ingredients on its menus. The initiative introduced innovative recipes and aligned with existing efforts to accelerate climate-healthy menus good for consumers and the planet, including lower greenhouse gas emissions.