Mondelēz International is expanding its sustainable wheat farming programme called the Harmony Initiative in the Czech Republic. Year on year, more growers from Bohemia and Moravia have joined. This year, their wheat will produce more than 30,000 tonnes of flour, which will then be processed into biscuits and wafers at the company’s production facilities in Opava, Lovosice and Mariánské Lázně. Czech consumers can see the Harmony Initiative logo on BeBe Dobré ráno or Brumík products. By 2022, Mondelēz has committed to using only sustainably sourced wheat in all of its biscuit production. Last year, 65% of wheat in Europe came from this initiative.
“Sustainably sourced raw materials have long been a very important issue for our company,” says Ivana Tůmová, Mondelēz CEO for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. But of course we also see that environmental friendliness is increasingly meeting consumer expectations and is also becoming an important competitive advantage for us. Thanks to our large production facilities in the Czech Republic, we are very happy to cooperate with local farmers,” adds Ivana Tůmová.
When growing Harmony wheat, the goal is to minimize the amount of pesticides and artificial fertilizers used. This is helped by selecting a suitable and resistant wheat variety, appropriate crop rotation, planting intercrops and specific soil care. Three per cent of wheat fields are left for sowing with specially selected honey flowers. The flower strips also provide food and habitat for insects, which are important in the fight against parasites.
The Harmony program was created in France in 2008 in collaboration with Mondelēz International, with millers, wheat growers and agricultural cooperatives. Non-profit and research organisations also contributed to its development. The correct compliance with the established procedures is subject to regular audits. Currently, the Harmony Initiative involves 1 600 farmers, 13 mills and 26 cooperatives from seven countries, France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Spain and Hungary. In 2019, they produced nearly 182,000 tonnes of wheat. By expanding the Harmony programme, annual wheat production is expected to rise to more than 282 thousand tonnes by 2022.