Upfield, the global leader in plant-based nutrition and the leading producer of plant-based margarines, spreads and cheeses, has joined the Global Shea Alliance (GSA).
Upfield has also registered as a GSA sustainability partner, committing to promoting the sustainable development of the shea sector.
Joining the Global Shea Alliance is an important component of Upfield’s sustainability strategy, an official release issued to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, on Tuesday.
In addition to the company’s Responsible Sourcing Policy and Human Rights Statement, Upfield’s position on shea would be directed by the sustainability guidelines and implementation criteria laid out by the Global Shea Alliance, it explained.
By joining the GSA, Upfield would work with NGOs, producer groups and women’s groups to jointly advocate for shea production practices that benefit both people and planet.
Speaking on the membership, Upfield’s Head of Sustainability, Sally Smith, noted: “Upfield is committed to the responsible and sustainable sourcing of all our ingredients.
“Whilst shea is widely considered to be a sustainable crop, we also recognise the potential safety, labour, environmental and economic risks associated with shea kernel collection and processing. We are excited to work with the Global Shea Alliance and partners across the shea value chain to help address these issues.”
For his part, Simballa Sylla, President of the GSA said, “We are excited to have Upfield onboard! The Global Shea Alliance welcomes their contributions to promoting the use of shea in the plant-based products, a fast-growing sector that would drive additional economic opportunities to women collectors/processors and their communities. We truly look forward to an exciting partnership.”
The release said Upfield would work with its suppliers to implement the GSA’s sustainability principles in their shea sourcing supply chains in West Africa.
Some of these principles include enabling economic empowerment and increased income for collectors, improving the safety, health and welfare of collectors, respecting land tenure rights, protection of women collectors, implementing environmental protection and regeneration measures and improving traceability.
The GSA is a non-profit industry association with 560 members from 35 countries, including women’s groups, brands and retailers, suppliers, and NGOs.
Through public-private partnerships, the GSA promotes industry sustainability, quality practices and standards, and demand for shea in food and cosmetics.
Upfield is a global leader in plant-based nutrition, producing plant-based bread spreads and cheeses with more than 100 brands.
They include Flora, Rama, Blue Band, ProActiv, Becel, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Country Crock and Violife.
It is headquartered in Amsterdam and with 14 production facilities across the world, sells its products in more than 95 countries.