A coffee with… Victoriano García, Customer Logistics manager

Empack: Tell us, after more than 23 years of professional career within Bonduelle and a large part of that career linked to the logistics sector, why did you choose this sector? And what is it that strikes you most about this sector?

Victoriano: That’s right, 23 years is a great journey, with continuous learning and growth, both professionally and personally, and thanks to Bonduelle, which has been a family company with 170 years of history and with the 8th generation of the family at the helm, it transmits and generates some very intrinsic values, which have a very positive impact on your development.
I arrived at the Logistics department by chance, thanks to a proposal from my Manager, in an internal rotation of managers, which at first was for 6 months and now it has been 8 years with this responsibility so I understand that I will not do it so badly….
I love the logistics sector, it is closely linked to my personality, I am attracted by challenges, difficulties and projects, no two days are the same, and everything is closely linked to my pro-active character, where I never stop believing and learning.

Empack: What is your day-to-day life like at Bonduelle and what does a Logistics & Customer service figure do within the company?

Victoriano: The day-to-day, like all logistics departments in other companies, starts with a team meeting first thing in the morning where we review the previous day’s ratios and accumulated ratios, where we agree on immediate action plans for those inputs where the service to our customers has not been as planned or as desired.

During the day in the team we monitor the operations, divided by technology, Frozen and Canned, which are as different as they are enriching.

We review the supply flows of our 15 different Bonduelle factories, in order to know the status and immediate impact of the goods in demand, in transit and received.

Very active participation in the S&OP both locally and internationally, where, apart from analysing KPI’s, data, forecasts and proposals, it allows us to interact with other departments in order to optimise and improve every day our main focus, which is our customers and therefore our consumers.

In the same way we create close and highly collaborative relationships with our suppliers as they are an extension of Bonduelle’s operations.

And it’s non-stop, with meetings, mini-projects, reporting, training,… and all focused on continuous improvement together with the work of my team of great professionals in search of operational excellence.

Empack: What is Bonduelle’s commitment to sustainability, what changes have you implemented and what changes do you expect to implement in the future?

Victoriano:

At Bonduelle, since its origin in 1853, the passion for vegetables and respect for the land are the two pillars that have marked the brand’s path. In 2019, Bonduelle renewed its entire Maize range to certify it as ‘no pesticide residues’, and in 2020 it has done the same for its Peas range, now ‘no added sugars’. Following the same trajectory, the brand has just launched its latest innovation, Green beans with low salt content, to offer consumers increasingly healthier products. In 2021, it changed its plastic groupers for a cardboard cluster in order to have a more sustainable pack.

Thanks to the new packaging, produced in 100% recyclable cardboard and with 50% recycled material, the company will stop using 170 tonnes of plastic per year in Europe, 25 of which in Spain. One of the main innovations is that the new cardboard cover uses 30% less material compared to a package that completely covers the cans. This renewal is also in line with Bonduelle’s commitment to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) of the 2030 Agenda, with recycling as the key to achieving it, especially with goal number 12: Responsible Production and Consumption.

The cardboard used has the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certificate. This Forest Certification verifies that the materials used come from sustainably managed forests. In addition, they contain the Nutri-score seal or “nutritional traffic light” endorsed by the European Union. This traffic light is a classification system based on 5 letters and colours, in which A – dark green – is the healthiest option and E – red – the least, followed by B, C and D. For its part, 100% of Bonduelle products have the A category. In this way, the company provides consumers with more information about the product’s values, thus facilitating their purchasing choices. The packaging also features the Ecoembes pictogram on the cardboard container to help consumers recycle it. Finally, the cans are made of aluminium, a material that is infinitely recyclable.

The packaging ink is of vegetable origin, based on renewable raw materials, of organic origin and with a minimum of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). In addition, the brand’s new packaging contains easy-to-remove glue that does not hinder recycling.

With these initiatives, Bonduelle is demonstrating both its commitment to the planet and to food, affirming its desire to make these two aspects the basis for the development of its future innovations and launches.

Bonduelle presents B! Pact, the global pact that reflects the company’s triple commitment to the planet, food and people with concrete actions to promote healthy and sustainable food.

Through B! Pact, Bonduelle has set targets for 2025, such as reducing its CO2 emissions by 20% and cultivating 100% of its fields using alternative farming techniques. B! Pact is a cross-cutting commitment that involves all actors in our society, from farmers to consumers.

“There are currently more than 7.5 billion people on the planet and we are expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. With today’s dietary patterns, based mainly on meat and fish, we would need three planets to feed the population”.

Our food diet has a direct impact on the environment as the carbon footprint of each food is different, determined by its production or development process. In addition to their healthy aspect, vegetables are the food group that requires the least resources to produce. This is why 75% of Spaniards are opting for plant-based products as the main source of supply in 10 years’ time, according to the study ‘Radiography of plant-based food’ carried out by Bonduelle, a leading company in plant-based food and a precursor of ‘Plant-Based Food’.

More and more people are choosing to follow a diet that has the least possible impact on nature, consuming products whose cultivation or production process has not been artificially altered. It is therefore not surprising that the main concern of Spaniards when it comes to consuming vegetables is directly related to the soil: the use or non-use of pesticides during cultivation.

In addition, the Bonduelle study highlights an increasingly frequent problem among consumers: food packaging. The report confirms that 34% of Spaniards have at some time stopped buying vegetables because they came in packaging that did not respect the environment. This situation is even more pronounced among millennials (42%). Furthermore, consumers go beyond the problem of the packaging itself. And the fact is that 72% of Spaniards would be willing to change their usual establishment where they buy packaged vegetables for another that is more respectful of the environment in the products it offers.

“At Bonduelle, we believe that our purpose as a company lies in working to build a better future through more plant-based food. We are currently committed to a B Corp certification programme, which guarantees the continuous improvement of our economic model, and at the same time, Bonduelle is a founding member of the B Builders movement (BMB), which brings together multinationals that want to support and contribute with concrete actions to B Corp. Bonduelle wants to lead this change through diversified and sustainable agriculture, having a positive impact on all the actors in our society so that plant-based food is accessible to the greatest number of people”.

With these initiatives, Bonduelle demonstrates both its commitment to the planet and to food, affirming its desire to make these two aspects the basis for the development of its next innovations and launches.

Empack: If you had to give a piece of advice to the Victoriano of 10 years ago, given the unpredictable changes we face every day, what would it be?

Victoriano: Well, I would tell him many things, there is nothing like the passage of time for a good learning process, but mainly I would tell him that the future is not inevitable, it can be invented.

I would also tell him to continue making decisions, right or wrong, they are always necessary, generating what gives value to a logistics department, which is the great capacity to adapt to the increasingly demanding but also attractive needs of our customers and consumers.

Empack: Finally, what do you think of fairs such as Empack and Logistics & Automation Madrid where you were able to attend last year, do you think that this type of event favours the sector and encourages it to grow, and if so, in what way?

Victoriano: The fair is becoming more and more important in its own right and, in my opinion, it is currently the most important in integrated logistics and packaging in Spain. In addition to offering Empack and Logistics spaces together, it offers endless synergies in the search for solutions that need to cover the complete Supply Chain cycle.

It is also an important meeting point, where you can attend very enriching conferences, professionals, consultants, suppliers, where in some cases you feel very identified and most of the time you learn new things, giving you the opportunity to network with other colleagues.

The only thing missing would be more presence of Logistics Operators, Carriers, with whom you can share and deal with your pure logistics demands.

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