It was Wild’s 80th anniversary last week, and I travelled to Heidelberg in Germany to visit the plant and meet Dr Hans-Peter Wild prior to his own 70th birthday.
In this audio interview, his colleagues Mike Ponder and Erik Donhowe talk about the Wild philosophy, the recent extension to the company’s contract with PepsiCo for the SoBe range, and the skills and knowledge required to modify complex flavours such as stevia.
Despite our hectic work schedules, we managed to have a Skype chat today and talked about the development of the brand, the hard work that’s going into the marketing strategy and the need for new distribution.
The Food Technology, Innovation & Safety Forum was an event attended by some of the biggest names in the North American food industry, thrust together courtesy of WTG for the sake of reaching out for new business, sharing business philosophies and eating unhealthy ‘conference food’.
The real value for me was inside the conference halls, where a select group of businesspeople encouraged their peers to embrace the challenges we all face for a more sustainable future, with a nod in the direction of Paul Comey (Green Mountain Coffee) and Yves Potvin (Garden Protein) in particular.
With good humour and almost faultless presentations, these two pitched their respective philosophies with common sense examples of how being ‘a better company’ means embracing change for all of the right reasons. I can only hope that the right people were listening.
I’m happy to say that I recorded a handful of interesting conversations while in Chicago, and you can hear my chat with Paul Comey below.
The Green Index is a list of 100 well-known brands – many of which are food and beverage brands – all rated according to their green credentials. This takes into account packaging, carbon footprints, labelling and a number of other criteria. Some of the results are astounding, not least the fact that none of the 100 brands achieved a grade higher than ‘C’ (with ‘A’ being the highest).
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, is that washing detergent manufacturers did rather well, as many detergent companies have made a concerted effort to grasp more than a fundamental understanding of what genuine sustainability is.
Strangely, there are some inconsistencies that just don’t make good business sense, such as Unilever’s great result for its detergent brands, yet poor results for some of its popular food brands.
The British Fruit Juice Association (BFJA) Annual Symposium took place last month (5 June 2008) with the theme of sustainability high on the agenda. FoodBev.com is pleased to be able to present a short series of podcasts featuring two of the speakers at the event.
The first download is an introduction to the symposium by Jill Ardagh, the Director General of the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA). Mark Rhodes is Director of Corporate Environment, Health & Safety at GlaxoSmithKline. His talk, entitled ‘Adaptation or Extinction’, is available to download in two parts.
Jonathon Porritt CBE is the Chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, and is co-founder and Programme Director of Forum for the Future.