How did VIVESCIA’s CSR policy come about?
We are the result of a long cooperative history, stretching back around 90 years. There are now 11,000 farmers who own the VIVESCIA Group: social responsibility is in our genes and resonates with cooperative values. In 2012, when the VIVESCIA Group came into being through the merger of the Champagne Céréales and Nouricia cooperatives, we set to work, strengthened by our prior experiences. In 2014, four challenges were set: to promote a form of patient capitalism; contribute to the development of the regions where we were operating in France and around the world; keep in close touch with our men and women while fostering safety in the workplace, and innovate in order to obtain healthy food while preserving resources. A network was set up of about fifteen people as CSR contact points within the Group’s companies. The groundwork was laid.
Why did you want to revisit your CSR approach?
In 2017, it seemed to us we could move further ahead by adding greater structure to our CSR approach, making it more engaging and easier to grasp. Improving how we prioritise our focus for action and defining objectives more clearly, while ensuring these resonate with people around the world.
You talk of a new CSR goal in 2018. Could you be more precise?
The Board of Administrators and Executive Committee are spearheading four highly ambitious commitments that will have a decisive impact on the Group’s future and how it develops. This means we are committed to ensuring safety at work, giving access to the value that is created, developing sustainable agriculture, and encouraging the passing on of skills and know-how. These four new commitments support the foundations that are common to every organisation within the Group. Naturally, this shared roadmap is supplemented by actions specific to each of the Group’s entities, depending on their specific needs and characteristics, and is underpinned by a bedrock of credibility including, notably, our code of ethics and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
What are the next stages for this new roadmap?
I’d say, now let’s get it all started! The course has been set and the routes we should take to get there will be built, day by day. Four working groups, "sponsored” by a member of the Executive Committee, demonstrating the important part CSR plays in strategy, were set up in September 2018 to launch the process, generate momentum and engage with all employees.