We also need to look at the availability and interchangeability of raw materials
One of the speakers at the IFFI event, September 21, is Remon Lanters. Since 2019 he has been working for Royal Euroma as Purchase Manager. In addition, he is responsible for the Vendor Quality Management team, which is responsible for setting up and maintaining all necessary control measures for quality risks throughout the supply chain. Before the event we ask him to tell us something about the sustainable growth agenda from Euroma.
For over 120 years, Euroma has been traveling the world in search of the very best herbs and spices. These herbs and spices are therefore the tasteful foundation of Euroma’s business. That is why Euroma continues to challenge themselves to expand their range with sustainable, new or better quality herbs and spices.
Euroma works together with food producers throughout The World on tasty concepts. Whether it is the most suitable pepper, a complex seasoning or a ready-to-use consumer product, the Euroma team works with passion and entrepreneurship on their products. So that they are delivered to their customers in an innovative, qualitative and efficient way. This entrepreneurship is also reflected in the acquisition of Intertaste in 2018 and the new state-of-the-art factory in Zwolle.
“Euroma does quite a lot,” says Remon Lanters. Everything is focussed on adding taste, based on herbs and spices which we source as much as possible in the countries where they are cultivated.
We have three factories; the dry production takes place in the new state-of-the-art factory in Zwolle. There we process the herbs and spices. We can sterilize, grind and blend the herbs and spices. By adding functional ingredients to them,, we can offer a broad portfolio of single herbs and spices, seasonings, instant soups- and sauces, coatings and batters for French fries..
In the factories in Nijkerk and Schijndel, a broad portfolio of sauces and dressings are being produced, as well ambient as for the fresh convenient market.
Recipe for growth
The theme of the IFFI event ‘recipe for growth’, what appeals to you? Lanters: “There are many challenges in the market due to external factors. We buy a lot from origin, in countries such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Guatemala, Mexico. Those countries are what they are. Changing them is incredibly difficult. Changing the way they work, for example, is a long and arduous process. But I think as one of the top three companies in Europe, we have the responsibility to understand the situation there and to develop possible improvements together. On the other hand, in Europe we have legislation that is becoming stricter on various grounds. Banned substances, pesticides. That is currently holding the market back when you talk about recipes for growth. We need to look at flexibility, the interchangeability of raw materials, and availability in the market. It is not self-evident that everything is available at all times. As consumers, we are a little too used to the year-round availability of raw materials. And that everything complies with European legislation. Europe is doing quite well in this. In addition, it is also the wish of retailers and consumers that cultivation and processing takes place in a sustainable manner.”
When asked what Euroma’s sustainable agenda looks like, Remon Lanters says: “We are one of the four founders of The Sustainability Spice Initiative (SSI) and are still an active participant. A renowned party with just over 50 participants all over the world. We want to set a new standard for sustainable herbs and spices in the market and actually believe that sustainability should be a standard rather than a choice. The SSI runs various programs in countries where herbs and spices grow. It ensures that their cultivation is sustainable. For example, work ethics are scrutinized and child labour is prevented.”
The SSI has various certifications for sustainability. The organization strives to get a percentage of the imported spices and herbs certified sustainable. “Euroma also has a target for this, which is 25% for 2025 for three large product groups. The aim is to grow this even further,” says Remon Lanters
Unfortunately, the market shows that inflation is once again counteracting sustainability. “Food is becoming more expensive, which influences consumer choice. Not everyone has the means to opt for a more expensive and therefore sustainable alternative. On the other hand, we see that large companies ask us what and how we go about sustainability. It’s a bit contradictory,” says Lanters. The contradiction lies in the fact that customers are not always prepared to pay premium prices for certified sustainable raw goods, yet still want to know how we deal with the topic of sustainability.
What does it mean for Lanters’ function to be involved in sustainability in this way? Lanters: “We look at the suppliers. Whether they adhere to the code of conduct drawn up by us. Guidelines that are also laid down by the law. The focus is also on sustainability internally.”
During the IFFI event, what is the theme of your lecture? Remon Lanters: “It ties in with what I have already said. We balance enormously between the fact that we source products from countries that cannot simply be changed and on the other hand, the requirements and expectations are becoming increasingly strict. That’s the tricky part. A piece of availability in the market. Looking at sustainability, we are not only talking about social aspects, we are also talking about good agricultural practices. Land preparation, usage of water, fertilizers, pesticides that are not allowed in the EU. Together with our partners, we train the farmers in this, what may and may not be used in such a way that their raw materials are suitable for the EU consumption. We cannot control an entire country, but we do everything within our power, together with suppliers and stakeholders with whom we have a long term relationship.
Availability and interchangeability
In short, Lanters: “The most important message is that we must realize that availability is not so self-evident, it is a result of what is happening in The World. We have ever higher demands and expectations. Consumers are increasingly aware of what they buy and eat. And in addition, we want it to be sustainable.We cannot just change the conditions in countries as India or China overnight. We have to ask ourselves whether the way things are going in Europe right now is the right thing to impose on them too. Can we expect that from them? We also need to look at the availability and interchangeability of raw materials. Now all raw materials of a product are listed on declarations and labels. In fact, you cannot exchange anything. There is a solution. Even then we can still deliver a good product.”
Purchase Manager at Royal Euroma