Comprehensive Policies Win the Organisation the Ethical Procurement Award
At a Glance
Three years ago, Casual Dining Group (CDG) recognised the growing importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sought to differentiate itself by leading the industry with a strategy that would achieve supply chain assurance, support the value of its brands, and enhance relationships with suppliers, customers and other external stakeholders. To that end, CDG set out to achieve “Best in Class” status in key CSR areas, from sustainable sourcing and menu development to restaurant operations and brand marketing.
CDG worked with industry partners to guide its approach in identifying the organisation's priorities and objectives and then defining a roadmap to achieve them. Central to the effort was the further development of policies in key areas, including animal welfare, sustainable sourcing, ethical trading, nutrition and health, and menu development that would support the integrity and successful delivery of its strategy.
Since the inception of the approach, CDG has delivered on many of its key objectives and continues to analyse and mitigate risk among suppliers as well as engage with relevant experts on the issues that are most material to the business.
CDG is one of the UK's largest casual dining chains, operating multiple well-established brands, including Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas. The company employs over 10,000 people and serves more than 20 million meals each year at over 300 locations. Through its vision on sustainability, CDG is building a strong and lasting reputation as a good corporate citizen that guarantees that customers' food is prepared from quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients.
"We knew CDG and its supply chain had the capacity to achieve important step changes towards the long-term viability of our business and brands, act responsibly toward our customers and employees, and contribute to the sustainability of society at large. We just needed a way to formalise an approach that would enable the company and all of its stakeholders to positively contribute to this effort."
Group Procurement Director at Casual Dining Group
After witnessing increased pressure from consumers, government regulators, non-governmental organisations and media for sustainable operations in the casual dining sector, CDG knew that supply chain assurance would be expected of others as well. Since CDG's brands are well-known and trusted by customers, the company wanted to secure this brand equity over the long term through evidence-based responsible sourcing, menu development and good environmental practices.
In 2015, the company formalised an approach to food traceability and total transparency with its suppliers to support its CSR strategy and related programmes that would protect its brands and provide a platform for adding value to them in the future. CDG then turned its attention to its procurement strategy to align current and future suppliers with the CSR strategy. This would also enable CDG to work with key external partners to remain at the forefront of the issues and industry best practices.
"We have been able to quickly transform our supply chain practices to drive transparency that builds customer trust, enhances our brand reputation and supports our core business strategy with the help of business partners such as SAI Global and external experts. Moreover, we have now established relationships with key suppliers who can support us in developing policies and solutions for future supply that will build on our CSR commitments."
Group Procurement Director at Casual Dining Group
To read our full customer success story and take a closer look at how CDG's collaborative supply chain approach elevated its sustainability profile, click below.
CDG's programme has yielded impressive results in as little as three years.
- Earned the Ethical Procurement Award at the 2017 Triple Bottom Line Awards
- Become the first major UK high street restaurant chain to earn the CIWF Good Egg award for sourcing 100% free-range shell eggs and liquid eggs, and has committed to only using free-range eggs in all dishes by 2022
- Achieved recognition by Fish2Fork for its sustainable fish sourcing policies, with Café Rouge and Bella Italia ranked 1st and 2nd respectively out of 20 high street restaurants(January 2017)
- Become the first UK restaurant chain to provide a public statement on modern slavery in compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015
“Undertaking the programme has impacted CDG in ways we didn't even anticipate at the outset,” added Galkoff. “In addition to achieving our internal goals, we have emerged as a sustainability leader and are able to attract talent because of the culture we have established. The effort has created true value across our business and for our shareholders and will continue to impact our performance as we review the plan annually for ways to improve.”