Tetra Pak

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If you make 150 billion food cartons a year, then you need to know exactly where you're getting your materials from. We set a goal of making sure every piece of wood fibre that goes into them is sourced from a responsibly managed forest. Along the way we became the first company to create liquid food cartons with Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) certification, the only system supported by Greenpeace and WWF (Our FSC licence code is FSC-C014047).

Our FSC paper comes from certified forests like this on in Paraná, Brazil, and other controlled source. So what happens there, and why does it matter?

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Our forestry partners in Brazil, Klabin, face a challenge: how to grow and harvest wood in a country whose forestry provokes intense debate locally and globally? The answer lies in building a team of partners who can help them make sustainability within forestry a reality.

Klabin has set aside almost half its holdings in Paraná to be preserved as native forest and was the first company from the pulp and paper industry in the Southern Hemisphere to have its forests certified by FSC. Started in 1993, FSC is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to responsible forestry management. That means that, if you see an FSC logo on a carton, you can be sure that, by buying it, you are supporting sustainable, environmentally sound forestry.

To maximise biodiversity in the area, Klabin plant pine and eucalyptus trees in a 'mosaic' pattern where animals can roam in their natural habitat without being halted by plantations. More than 600 species of mammals, birds, amphibians and fish have been identified in studies since 1980, among them almost 50 endangered species such as ocelots and the purple-breasted parrot - precious species protected by a responsible approach to forestry.

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Responsible forestry also has a big impact on health research and medical innovation. Klabin runs its own phytotherapy programme, blending environmental preservation with social responsibility. Since 1984 it has generated approximately 30 medicines used in the care of employees, their families and the community in Telemaco Borba, Paraná. The medicines come from indigenous plants and are authorised by the government health agency Anvisa. Klabin also encourages the growth of woodland by offering forestry incentive programmes to small and medium-sized farms.

Klabin, one of our key suppliers, is a world-class demonstration of responsible forestry. It shows how well-managed supplies, and in particular FSC-certified forests, can preserve both natural ecosystems and local communities while creating sustainable growth for ourselves and our customers - not just the trees. This is the Circle of Protection.

Klabin’s FSC license code is FSC-C022516

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China is our second biggest market, and over the years we have seen how a lack of infrastructure there made it difficult for the nation as a whole to embrace important environmental issues. Things are changing, though. People all over China are becoming increasingly environmentally aware, and these issues are now at the forefront of political and public attention. Recycling is one of them...

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All over the world, our a im with recycling is simple: to make sure that, one day, every carton we make is recycled. Last year, 27.1 billion of them were recycled, which means our own rates have risen by 64% in six years. But it's not just our own cartons we worry about. We want to help create the kind of infrastructure that can support the culture of recycling all food cartons around the world. Here in China, that's meant working every day with schools, non-governmental organisations and the government to support the recycling process across the board. In Shanghai and its surrounding areas, you can see the effect that our work has had on everyone from the carton collectors in the big city to the flourishing companies that now turn those materials into new products.

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You can see how things are changing in China just by visiting a sorting centre in Shanghai. Wen Yu Cheng, a manager in one such factory, tells us how his factory receives over 300,000 cartons every day.

Lv Chao, a Sorting Centre official at a factory in Shanghai that uses recycled cartons to make consumer waste bins, believes these figures are indicative of a shift in attitude: "People are embracing the idea of environmental protection. When they go out they'll use public transport, and when they go shopping they'll remember to bring reusable shopping bags."

In Beijing, China's capital, there's a similar story to be told. By bringing waste collectors together with commercial recyclers, we've helped to create an entire new industry for carton recycling from scratch. Rates have increased from 0 to almost 40% in only seven years. Our efforts in China are indicative of our worldwide environmental policy to renew, reduce and recycle. This is the Circle of Protection.

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It started with a carton in the era of Elvis Presley, the Sputnik space satellite and rebels without a cause. The year was 1952, and our founder, Ruben Rausing, presented a new packaging system to the world with his partner Erik Wallenberg: the Tetra Classic, a tetrahedron-shaped carton that required a minimum of materials to keep good things in and bad things out of food. Our vision, to make food safe and available everywhere, had begun.

Today it continues — but not just in Lund.

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We now make over 150 billion cartons a year in over 170 countries, which means the average person will use 25 of our cartons every year. Chances are, of course, they don’t even notice us. And that’s just the way we like it. It means we’re doing a good job, going unnoticed 400 million times a day in people’s homes and on their breakfast tables the world over, from Los Angeles to London to Lagos.

Our business is no longer just about the packaging, though. We have become the world’s largest provider of processing AND packaging solutions for food. Our aseptic packaging technology was once called ‘the most important food science technology of the 21st Century’ by the Institute of Food Technology. It meant nutritious food could be stored and transported without the need for refrigeration. But what’s the point of keeping food safe with a carton if it’s not made safe in the first place?

That’s where our state-of-the-art processing technology comes in.

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Every processing machine we make is systematically engineered to do one thing: remove all harmful bacteria. The cartons just keep them out. Today, these two integrated lines of defence work together to solve any food protection problem our customers might have. It also means our customers can retain product consistency across every market.

Think of it as double protection from Tetra Pak. With two lines of defence, no one protects food more.

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We all know milk is good for us. We're told as much growing up: drink lots of it and you'll have healthy bones and brilliant white teeth. In many parts of the world, though, people still buy their milk from street vendors who take it from the cow and sell it without any kind of processing or packaging to protect it. That's the way it's been for thousands of years.

The problem is that there are risks involved. A single millilitre of this loose' milk can contain thousands of bacteria, many of them harmful pathogens you might have heard of: salmonella, tuberculosis, listeria. The list goes on.

Loose milk is a problem that affects millions of people. So what are we doing about it?

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Our Loose Milk Conversion Programme works with doctors, governments and NGOs across the Middle East, Russia and India to drive education initiatives that help millions of people better understand the risks involved in loose milk. In Cairo, where it remains a prevalent issue, the effects are beginning to show.

A familiar sight in the city is seeing people standing in line to buy loose milk from street vendors. Mother-of-two Nevin Nagi (above) used to buy her milk that way, but she stopped when doctors told her it was the cause of her daughter's illness. Now she thinks her kids are growing faster than ever and puts that down to the improved nutritional value of packaged milk. The loose alternative often lacks the same health benefits because it's usually boiled to kill off the bacteria. Not all pathogens succumb to the heat, though - but the nutritional value always does.

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Understandably, not everyone is as eager as Nevin to change the way they've done things for as long as they can remember. "When we were young," Sharif al Din Ismail (above) tells us, "my mother and father taught us to drink loose milk. We go with the logic that says what you're used to is better than what you're not used to'."

Things are changing, though. Thanks to the seminars and media coverage we've helped to create, people are becoming more and more aware of the problems with loose milk - and traditional habits are changing. According to The Chamber of Food Industries, the consumption of packaged milk was only 9% in Cairo in 2008, but had reached 19% by the end of 2009.

The Loose Milk Conversion Programme has helped create entire new supply chains which provide people with a safe alternative to loose milk in the form of processed, packaged milk. This demonstrates the holistic approach we take to making food safe and available everywhere. This is the Circle of Protection.

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Ever since our founder, Ruben Rausing, launched a new milk packaging system to the world in 1952, we have provided some of the most advanced food packaging and processing equipment around. Still, you don't have to be an engineering whizz to recognise our most advanced machine: the human being.

As well as providing state-of-the-art processing and packaging equipment for our customers, we have over 3,000 field service engineers around the world who work in teams to get the best out of every machine we make. So when our customers buy a machine from us, they don't just get the metal. They get the full support of our engineers as well, and that can dramatically change the fortunes of their businesses.

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Marios Kassapis, a successful orange juice producer in Cyprus, knows only too well how the personal Technical Service offering can protect businesses against situations well beyond their owners' control.

Marios sources the oranges for his juice from local groves. Back when he started his company, he had quality raw produce to go with his burning ambition, but he admits that he didn't yet have the expertise to translate those things into a consistently brilliant end product.

"Without Tetra Pak, this business wouldn't have started or survived, especially in the early years when we had limited knowledge. They helped us start the business and gradually they've passed their knowledge onto our own technical team."

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As well as helping businesses get off the ground, our Technical Service team is on hand to help customers integrate new machines and components into their existing lines. They get them up and running and provide the necessary training to keep them operating at the highest possible level. The net result of this dedicated personal service, of course, is reduced operating costs and higher productivity. Good news all round.

Our field service engineers are proof of what we've learned down the years: that, despite our engineering heritage, you need more than state-of-the-art technology to make, and keep, food safe. You need the human touch too. This is the Circle of Protection.

Sometimes the most original ideas come from following the herd.

Over the last few years there has been a shortage of high quality milk in Pakistan. At the same time, demand for milk has increased. Simple economics say the two aren't mutually compatible. This supply problem was largely due to a lack of knowledge and equipment amongst Pakistan's dairy farmers. Ideas and solutions were required.

Ours came in the form of the Dairy Hub, a tooled-up centralized location that gives farmers operating within a certain distance of each other the means to come together and work as one single herd. By grouping together - following the wider herd - they can pool their supply, produce more high quality milk and work more profitably.

So what happens inside the hubs?

The Dairy Hubs provide concentrated and focused agri-services and first-hand expertise to the farmers that can help them totally transform their methods from traditional practices to modern and commercial business. They introduce technical advances like new software for monitoring milk development.

Up until now, these hubs have conducted over 250 farmer trainings on areas like animal nutrition, mastitis, breeding and calf rearing and have provided a place for farmers to learn how to increase the productivity of their animals. Treating an infected udder, for instance, can improve one cow's output by up to 50%. Providing balanced feed to the animals also improves output. It's the little things that make a big difference.

The hubs have a big impact on rural communities. The first one in Kassowal in the Punjab region saw local rural economies collaborating and sharing knowledge amongst themselves, and benefiting from a single point of access to the wider market. One farmer in Kassowal explains: "Other companies are only interested in exploiting the farmer. They never think about helping him. If the farmer is prosperous, everyone will reap the benefit."

He's not just talking about his own family or his local community. He understands that all parties benefit - our customers included. They no longer have to worry about reduced supplies. Large quantities of high quality milk can now be bought at centralized locations. This is the magic of the Dairy Hub - a holistic approach to farming that supports all stakeholders.

We build the hubs to last too; they're not a quick fix to a temporary problem. They create the kind of solid foundations that will protect our customers against an unpredictable supply of raw milk. It's about Tetra Pak laying the grounds for sustainable agricultural development: good for our customers, good for society and good for ourselves. This is the Circle of Protection.

Over the last 16 years the height of the average child in Thailand has increased by 2.93cm, and malnutrition has dropped from 19% to less than 5%. So how has that happened?

It has to do with milk. Today, 44% of the world's population drink it, but not so long ago, in Thailand, no one did. It just wasn't part of the culture. In fact, the first dairy there, built way back in 1962, was the first dairy on Thai soil. Since then, we have worked closely with the government, UN agencies and NGOs to develop and support the growth of a flourishing sector, one that now acts as a solid base for sustainable economic and social development.

A key part of that process was providing milk to children in schools. And, as we discovered recently, you can measure the effects of that with a ruler.

It's not exactly a secret that milk is good for human beings. It contains 14 of the 18 minerals we need to function, as well as the nine essential nutrients: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, riboflavin and niacin - a faultless food résumé if ever there was one.

Of course, not everyone has access to milk, which is why we started our School Milk Programme, to spread those nutritional benefits as far and wide as we could by making milk available in schools. The programme started in Mexico in the 1960s and now feeds 50 million children in 50 countries around the world. It reached Thailand in 1985 and, with the help of our partners, now delivers 500 million packages, from kindergarten to sixth grade, every single year. The result? Taller, healthier children.

Today, 95.8% of milk market growth happens in developing countries. As thought leaders in dairy consumption, we have a big part to play in driving growth in these territories. The success of our work in Thailand is indicative of the approach we take around the world. From farmer training and equipment financing to educational initiatives and worldwide school feeding programmes, the emphasis is always on holistic, long term development - the creation of a solid and sustainable new sector that can support and protect our customers' interests, as well as the interests of the communities we serve. This is the Circle of Protection.