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Frucor Suntory

  • Head Office
    86 Plunket Ave, Manukau, Auckland 2104, New Zealand
  • Business activities
    Production and sales of non-alcoholic beverages
  • Website

Company Overview and Philosophy

Frucor Suntory manufactures, markets and distributes a range of fruit juices, fruit drinks, energy drinks, waters and soft drinks. We’re the company behind iconic brands, V Energy, h2go, Just Juice, Maximus, Fresh Up and Simply Squeezed – and we produce more than 25 million cases of drinks a year at our New Zealand manufacturing plant in south Auckland.

We employ 1,000 people across Australia and New Zealand. We’re passionate about satisfying tomorrow’s thirst and offering more choice when it comes to choosing a beverage to suit everyone’s lifestyle.

Everyone at Frucor Suntory strives to live our corporate values of "Together", "Go for It", and "Make a Difference". We believe these values, along with our purpose of “Hungry to make drinks better”, are among the key reasons we have been able to establish our unique position in this market.

Primary CSR Activities

To Create Harmony with Customers and Partners
-Products and Services-

Quality Management

Ensuring rigorous quality control and food safety standards

Our factories operate under a range of national and international food safety and quality programmes ranging from: the National Program 3 (NP3) and the Food Control plan (FCP) to ISO 9001 and ISO 2200. We also hold certification to support our Organics claims.

Our manufacturing subcontractors are selected on their adherence to the same quality standards we hold ourselves, and we have a dedicated team who ensure this is upheld.

The role of our Quality Control team is to ensure our products meet all the parameters we use to measure and assure the quality of our products. They also make sure that any claims we make about our beverages are true.

Continuously improving business operations

Frucor Suntory strives to deliver a SMW framework, which endeavours to achieve operational excellence through KAIZEN. This is done through developing standards and embedding tools, systems and processes to build capability and maturity.

We have been practicing 5S - seiri seiton (putting things in order); seiketsu, seisou (cleanliness, cleaning); shitsuke (discipline) for the past 12 years. Each year, Frucor Suntory manufacturing teams implement hundreds of improvement ideas in the factory.

We have a programme, which is dedicated to improving problem solving capability across the business. As a result, we have trained a significant amount of individuals to be green belt practitioners.

The introduction of the white belt and yellow belt programme has been developed to accelerate this capability and to reduce loss.

Hunger for Making Drinks Better

Our company purpose - hungry to make drinks better - extends across our business.

We are committed to offering more choice when it comes to low, no and reduced sugar beverages – as well as functionality and more natural ingredients. Our RD&I Centre is focused on producing great-tasting low and no sugar drinks – and we’re partnering with Suntory on sugar replacement development and options for the future.

We have rapidly adopted the Health Star Rating food labelling scheme with the % Daily Intake Energy icon, and we have voluntarily restricted the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in schools. As part of the NZ Government Ministry of Health’s Healthy Kids’ Pledge, we only sell water to primary and intermediate schools. We do not directly sell sugar-sweetened soft drinks or any energy drinks to secondary schools.

We were also one of the first beverage companies to use stevia; a natural plant-derived sweetener which has replaced sugar in many of our drinks.

Relations with Customers

We treat our customers with the same respect with which we treat each other. This has led to very positive customer relationships, and helped us to secure many new key accounts such as HOYTS Cinemas and Zambrero.

We were also ranked as the top non-alcoholic beverage supplier in the New Zealand Grocery Market by the Advantage Group Industry Survey.

Relations with Business Partners

We make every effort to use local sources for products and services, but on occasion we must use overseas suppliers for some requirements. Frucor Suntory requires that all suppliers adhere to strict, socially accepted standards of employee treatment and environmental policies and regulations related to the local environment. To ensure that all product ingredients obtained by Frucor Suntory meet our quality standards, we perform rigorous ingredient inspections and onsite audits of manufacturing processes.

To Create Harmony with Nature
-Environment-

Environmental Efforts

Like our parent company Suntory, we’ve set ourselves ambitious targets to ensure our environment is fit for the future.
We are actively working towards achieving these five key goals by 2030:

  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 35%
  • Zero waste to landfill
  • All packaging to be recyclable by 2030
  • Reduce water usage by 20%
  • One in three drinks we sell to be low to no sugar

To Create Harmony with Society
-Cultural and Social Contribution-

Support for a sustainable and circular economy

We recognise our responsibility to mitigate the environmental impacts of single-use beverage containers. We are eager to see a sustainable solution that will reduce waste to landfill, increase collection rates of eligible beverage containers, and result in increased recycling and re-processing of these high commodity materials.

In New Zealand, work kicked off in 2020 to investigate and design a nationwide beverage container return scheme (CRS). It would involve a refundable deposit on drink containers – redeemed when they are recycled at a collection depot or drop-off point. A comprehensive proposal was presented to the New Zealand Government towards the end of last year.

As a member of the New Zealand Beverage Council, Frucor Suntory was represented on the scheme Design Working Group tasked with the design of a CRS.

In Australia, container deposit schemes have already been established in five states with other states expected to follow. We introduced a trial of reverse vending machines in New Zealand with two university campuses to encourage people to recycle. The machines take all plastic and cans and have the capacity to hold 1,500 units.

Reducing our environmental impact

Since making our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint and partnering with Toitū Envirocare in 2017, we’ve been actively measuring greenhouse gas emissions in almost every one of our departments and sites in New Zealand and Australia.

In 2020 we introduced more hybrid vehicles to our fleet. They now account for 20% of the vehicles our sales team operate. Part of our role is not just looking at the emissions we are directly producing, but also working with customers to understand how the fridges they select for stores has an impact on the environment.

Using an energy efficient fridge can lower overall emissions and have an impact on their power bills and maintenance costs – so it’s a long term win for everyone.

Progress on sugar

Our hunger to make drinks better is what drives us – and this means offering choice and great tasting drinks.

When we design new drinks, we’re designing for consumer desirability, and this is resulting in lower sugar products. In some cases, it’s lower sweetness like NZ Natural flavoured sparkling range and in others, it’s offering the same sweetness with less sugar (V Sugarfree Blue).

We work closely with Suntory and our Flavour Houses on sugar reduction and sweetness enhancement tools and technology, to find new ways of giving consumers the same great taste, but with less sugar.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

We made great progress in 2020, and launched our first recycled plastic (rPET) into market. The NZ Natural range is now in recyclable packaging, using as much locally recycled content as we can get source.

During the development of our rPET bottles, we were able to collaborate with our Suntory colleagues around the world. We tapped into their expertise – which helped fast track our local solution – and shared learnings from the development. And there are more projects we’re connecting on globally.

When it comes to improving our existing packaging, we use the 3R mindset: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

This takes into consideration efficient manufacturing and distribution (CO2 reduction) as well as consumer functionality, safety and recycling. The result means we’re always trying to minimising the environmental impact of our packaging, while still delivering the products that consumers know and love.

A focus on recycling

Our Auckland manufacturing site is the largest contributor to our waste stream. In 2020 we focused on diverting waste from landfill and increasing our on-site recycling.

We have conducted a waste audit with our waste service provider to better understand the largest areas of impact and opportunities for improvement.

The results indicated a need to explain the importance of putting waste in the right place – and to make it as easy as possible to do the right thing.

  • We have also introduced collection to our site – we now separate food scraps for composting.
  • Arranged collection of electronic waste throughout the year – amounting to almost one tonne.
  • Made some simple choices – like recyclable tasting cups (which our RD&I teams use daily as part of our quality process.

Our Procurement Team is working with key suppliers to build awareness of our plans and investigate opportunities to transition our packaging to materials that are recyclable.

As a result of our continuous improvement, we diverted an additional 5% waste from going to landfill in 2020.

Using water thoughtfully

Alongside installing an air rinser at our manufacturing site – a piece of equipment enabling us to make savings of 12 million litres of water every year – our team has introduced a number of initiatives to save water wherever possible.

We regularly tap into the Suntory Global Engineering network for best practice projects underway, machine performance insights and innovative ideas for saving, reclaiming and re-using water.

Over the year, our focus and effort on making every drop matter throughout the manufacturing process has put us well ahead of the improvement rate required to achieve our 2030 water savings target.

To Create Harmony with Society
-Cultural and Social Contribution-

Relations with Regional Companies

We are passionate about supporting our community. Last year - alongside Suntory Group and Suntory Holdings (Beam Suntory) - we donated $500,000 to support recovery efforts in Australian communities that have been impacted by the ongoing bushfires.

The funds were divided among the Australian Red Cross, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and the New South Wales Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES).

We also donated $100,000 worth of Simply Squeezed Juice and Smoothies to DHB staff, care workers and families, who were impacted by the Hawke’s Bay floods.

Employee Volunteer Activities

We support our people to Make a Difference in their community by offering up to eight hours paid volunteer leave, called Make a Difference Leave.

We recognise the value of supporting our people who demonstrate a passion to give back to their community, charity or group of their choice –individually or as a team.

One of the leading benefits of our Make a Difference leave is that it is flexible. Volunteer hours can be used in a single day or be split across days, organisations, events or activities.

Last year, many of our people used Make a Difference Leave to help out an organisation in our community such as, volunteering at the distribution centre at the Auckland City Mission.

To Create Harmony with Employees
-Diversity Management-

Relations with Employees

Promoting workplace health, safety and wellbeing – leading for change

We’re committed to ensuring our people are able to thrive in a safe and healthy work environment. We do this by providing policies, education and resources that foster a physically safe and mentally resilient workforce. Our vision for health, safety and wellbeing puts our people at the heart of everything we do, so our people can go home to their families healthy and safe every day.

We have reviewed and released a new Health, Safety and Wellbeing policy, which underpins our commitments to providing a workplace that protects people from harm and supports their wellbeing, along with the responsibility we all have in keeping each other safe. We recognise that everyone can be a leader in health, safety and wellbeing so we actively promote an inclusive work culture that encourages conversations and collaboration. People leaders and their teams working together to bring practicable safety and wellbeing ideas to life.

We have 60 Health & Safety Representatives throughout our business, who are elected by their peers to be their voice and represent them on health and safety matters. Through this leadership role our Health & Safety Representatives play an important part in creating and supporting a culture of safety and wellbeing. During the last 18 months, we have reviewed and challenged our focus on mental health and wellbeing. Embracing the Five Ways to Wellbeing (Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give) as our guide, we are promoting the importance of mental health and self-care throughout our business. The five ways are simple and proven actions that when practiced regularly, can help people find balance, build resilience and boost mental health and wellbeing.

Supporting employee growth through training and skills development

We pride ourselves on valuing our people and having an engaged workforce. Last year we committed to dialing up our Learning & Development initiatives and refocusing our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy. We believe that investing in our people is good for our culture and business success.

In 2020 we were selected as a winner of the Human Resources Director (HRD) New Zealand Employer of Choice for the work we have achieve in these areas. The award recognised a range of our Learning and Development and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives such as:

  • Implementing our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy.
  • Becoming the first FMCG business in New Zealand to implement equal gender paid parental leave (offering all eligible employees 13 weeks on top of their statutory parental leave entitlements).
  • Launching our digital learning platform – MySU – during the COVID-19 lockdown (incorporating locally developed, LinkedIn Learning and Suntory global content).
  • The extension of our communication channels and digital technologies.
  • Our Leadership Development courses and Leadership Mindset material.