GRI 416: Customer health and safety
Explanation of the material topic and its boundary
Givaudan treats Customer health and safety through its approach to the material topics Consumer health and well-being and Product quality and safety. We aim to develop products and services that promote health and well-being. We also ensure that our products are safe for intended consumer use, and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
As a key player in the fragrance and flavour industry we are in a position to influence the well-being of consumers. For example, by developing great tasting flavour solutions for foods with lower levels of sugar, fat and salt we can encourage the uptake of healthier diets. Fragrance contributes to the sense of well-being and can be used around the world to drive consumers to choose products with desired health benefits.
At the same time, the safety of our products and the safety of the consumer are of the utmost importance. The quality of our products is the key to our success and that of our customers and end consumers.
We are a business-to-business organisation and as such we do not sell products directly to the end-consumer, but we are responsible for providing safe products to the businesses we sell to, and we seek to ensure the health and safety for consumers when using our products.
We are also committed to ensuring that our products are safe for our employees and the environment when used as intended, and that these products are compliant with all local laws, as a minimum requirement, in the markets we sell.
Through the investment in toxicology expertise and research into the safety of our products, we are committed to leading the industry in ensuring our consumers can safely use our products in their day-to-day lives. We also invest in environmental safety expertise and research to ensure that our workers and the environment are not harmed in the production of our products. Givaudan has a long history of investing in safety evaluation of its raw materials and we develop critical data to support these evaluations along with our suppliers. Givaudan is the industry leader in the development of novel non-animal test methodologies to support both human and environmental safety assessment of our materials. This enables us to comply with safety regulations around the world. With our regulatory expertise, we not only provide essential advice to our customers, but also ensure that our products meet or exceed all requirements.
Customers need to manage any environmental, health and safety risks associated with the use of our ingredients and so it is vital we supply the necessary information for the proper handling of our products. More information on this can be found in the topic Marketing and labelling.
To help ensure the safe use of flavours and fragrances in consumer products, we support and in many cases lead the development of public policies that impact the flavour and fragrance industry and work with associations such as the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the International Organization of the Flavor Industry (IOFI).
Product safety is of prime importance to Givaudan in ensuring the safety of employees, customers and consumers, as well as the environment.
With the second 3-year cycle of food safety system audits coming to an end, we see significant improvement in performance in our Flavour operations around the world. While continuously enhancing our standards, systems and programmes to adapt to increasing regulatory, statutory and customer requirements, we are also seeking to further strengthen our food safety culture.
More than 100 food safety experts across all regions, including those in acquired businesses, are forming a global network aiming to bring food safety within Givaudan to the next level. To support the integration of our acquisitions, we have started to visit selected Naturex sites with a combined Givaudan/ Naturex expert team in order to align best practices collaboratively, reflecting Givaudan’s high quality & food safety standards.
Sophisticated toxicological science is used in the Fragrance Division to ensure the safety of list materials, deployed, for example, in the REACH programme. We do not use animal testing for safety assessments unless required to do so by law – REACH, for example, required certain products to be tested in this way. Givaudan is also committed to further developing non-animal test methods such as our KeratinoSens™ assay and the development of a fish gill assay for toxicity assessment in aquatic species. We continue to invest in this important area.
We do not fund any political party in any country, and have an internal policy on charitable giving and community support that excludes any direct or indirect political donations or support.
Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories
All the ingredients used in our formulas are evaluated for any environmental, health & safety impact and this information is disclosed and filed with the relevant regulatory bodies whenever necessary. Quality and environmental data about our products, including safety information, are available through product labels and safety data sheets. The safety data sheets are available in more than 40 languages and are attached to every consignment and readily available to customers on request. For flavour products, information related to allergen, GMO, organic, nutritional and religious criteria can be provided.