Sustainable development trends in the food and beverage industry

VCN - 55% of leaders at food and beverage (F&B) businesses increase environmental related activities; The F&B industry also ranks 3rd in the total global sustainability score. These figures show that the trend of sustainable development is increasingly fast and effective in F&B businesses.
Covid-19 Covid-19 "exposes" weaknesses of Food and Beverage industry
Sustainable development trends in the food and beverage industry
Many businesses have moved faster in green production activities to limit their impact on the environment for more sustainable development.

F&B industry has an average growth rate of 6.3%

Food and Beverage (F&B) is one of the largest industries and is closely related to the lives of billions of people around the world. The Business Research Company's F&B research report released in January 2023 shows that the F&B market is expected to recover from the "black swan" event - Covid-19 and the scale is expected to increase to 9,225, $37 billion in 2027 with an average growth rate of 6.3%.

In terms of sustainable development (sustainable development), F&B is also one of the leading industries. According to research by ESG consultants EcoVadis over 46,000 companies, the F&B industry has a score of 48.9 - among the Top 3 industries with the highest scores for environmental issues and overall sustainability scores, along with the construction and financial, legal and consulting industries.

In addition, the F&B industry is easily affected by climate change. Climate change in the form of hurricanes, floods and fires... is a risk for F&B companies, disrupting supply chains, reducing raw material supply. This motivates the F&B community to direct production and business activities according to a sustainable strategy.

Around the world, many F&B companies are directing research and development (R&D) activities towards green technologies, processes and more sustainable products, 55% of F&B business leaders said they have increased investment in the environment.

BrewDog has invested £12 million in a production system that converts waste from the brewing process into bioenergy, thereby providing energy for the plant, transport vehicles, etc., as well as reducing consumption water intake. According to BrewDog's sustainability report, from 2016 to 2021, this beer business will reduce its electricity use by 43% per HL, and reduce water/HL by 55% (HL: hectoliter, equivalent to 100 liters). The candy company Ferrara aims to make all packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

More and more brands are reusing food and by-products from the manufacturing process. For example, Wheyward Spirit uses whey from the cheesemaking process to craft wine; ReGrained use grain left over by breweries to create ingredients for snack bars and chips. This trend has also spread to restaurant chains and small businesses such as limiting the use of plastic utensils, replacing plastic boxes with environmentally friendly materials...

The steps of Vietnamese businesses

In Vietnam, F&B is one of the industries with an important role and great potential for development. According to Euromonitor research published earlier this year, the value of Vietnam's F&B market in 2023 is expected to increase by 18% compared to 2022, reaching a revenue milestone of about VND 720,300 billion. Experiencing a period of upheaval due to the pandemic along with the tendency of consumers to appreciate green and sustainable products, F&B businesses in Vietnam have also continuously transformed towards sustainability along the entire manufacture value chain.

Sustainable development trends in the industry are constantly updated and developed every day, such as the use of vegan and organic ingredients, sustainable farming, reuse - recycling of waste or excess products from the production process to measures to limit the use of plastic and reduce packaging in general, to reduce food waste, etc.

Sustainable development trends in the food and beverage industry
Vinamilk uses shopping bags made from 100% recycled plastic at Vietnamese Dairy Dream stores

For example, Vinamilk - the F&B brand with the highest value in 2022 (according to Forbes) - continuously invests in sustainable and green technologies and solutions in the system of farms and production plants, showing the commitment and efforts with a sustainable orientation in the strategic and long term.

Currently, thirteem farms and ten factories of Vinamilk have installed solar energy, in parallel promoting green energy such as Biomass, CNG (at the factory), Biogas (on the farm). At the plant, 87% of energy from fossil fuels has been replaced by clean, green energy from Biomass, CNG; 15%-20% of electricity used is harnessed from solar energy. Vinamilk built a model of ecological dairy farm Green Farm, Organic Organic, practicing dairy farming in the direction of sustainable agriculture.

In parallel with the measures to reduce greenhouse gas, Vinamilk implemented and completed planting one million trees for Vietnam. Next, the tree planting is activity towards Net Zero, a five-year period from 2023 to 2027. Most recently, this enterprise announced that Vinamilk Factory and Dairy Farm in Nghe An was approved by the British Standards Institute by the British Standards Institute - BSI (UK) and Bureau Veritas (France) certified carbon neutral according to PAS2060:2014 standard. 100% of Vinamilk's stores nationwide are using bags made from recycled plastic, plastic spoons, plastic straws and shrink films are being cut down by this business on a roadmap.

It can be said that Vinamilk's story is a typical example of an F&B enterprise in the green transformation wave, clearly illustrating the inevitable shift of this important field in Vietnam and around the world.

By Le Thu/ Quynh Lan

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