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why

The food industry is in the midst of revolutionary change. Changing demographics, socioeconomic shifts and digital connectivity are forcing the industry to adapt and evolve. One of the most pervasive shifts is around transparency. Consumers are seeking transparency in all areas of their lives, driven by an inherent distrust in large institutions. This distrust has been accelerated by digital connectivity where information and debate are available in one click.

For the food industry this translates into consumers’ desire to know what’s in the food they buy, where it is made and how the food is produced. A new generation of consumers is seeking food that better aligns with their values, and is authentic, natural and wholesome. And, they expect a level of transparency at each step of the supply chain — from farm to table.

Campbell believes that providing easy access to this information builds consumer trust — something we have invested in doing for more than 145 years. In this new era of transparency, we are on a journey to be open and honest about our business and earn the trust of a new generation of consumers.

how

In this changing environment, Campbell’s Purpose — Real food that matters for life’s moments — serves as our North Star. It is a filter we apply to strategic decisions and informs the way we engage with our consumers. It has also been a guiding factor in identifying strategic imperatives that we feel are key to our success, one of which is transparency. We have made a commitment to set the standard for transparency in the food industry. We are doing this by engaging our consumers in conversation that allows us to address the issues that are most meaningful to them. Actions such as introducing mandatory GMO labeling on all products, removing artificial colors and flavors from our recipes, and transitioning to non-BPA packaging are all a part of this journey. It has also inspired us to look at our recipes and use more of the ingredients people tell us they want, and less of those they would prefer to avoid. As part of our efforts, we have also launched a website where we are open about the ingredients we use and the choices we have made.

what

What’s in My Food?

Campbell’s purpose-driven commitment to setting a new bar for transparency in the food industry led us to take a big step in FY2015 by sharing with our consumers what goes into our food, how we make our food and why we make the choices behind the ingredients used in our food. The impetus for these decisions followed extensive consumer research about what they wanted to know about food. Our intent is not to be perfect, but rather to strive continuously for an open exchange of information so consumers can make the most informed choices possible for themselves and their families.

The centerpiece of this new direction has been the introduction of a website — www.whatsinmyfood.com — where consumers can access a wide range of information about our products, and have questions and concerns addressed in one easily accessible place. This site provides information on several of our top brands, such as iconic Campbell’s Condensed soups, V8 beverages, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and SpaghettiOs. These steps are just the beginning, and there is a great deal of work ahead of us. In order to create a more open and honest dialogue, we welcome feedback that will help us on this journey.

We have also been proactive in transparency of ingredients derived from GMO crops, and, in 2015, we became the first major food company to disclose the presence of these ingredients made from GMO crops in our products via our website, www.whatsinmyfood.com. Our decision was guided by our Purpose, rooted in our consumer-first mindset, and driven by our commitment to transparency — to be open and honest about our food. We believe it is the right thing to do for consumers and for our business.

Responsible Labeling

GMO Labeling

One of the most hotly debated topics within the issue of transparency in the U.S. is the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). An overwhelming majority of U.S. consumers today believe that they have the right to know what is in their food and want food companies to label GMOs on their products. There is currently no U.S. federal regulation requiring labeling to inform consumers about the presence of GMOs in their food. Campbell believes that consumers have a right to know what is in their food, and that is why we support mandatory national GMO labeling. However, we oppose a state-by-state “patchwork approach,” as we believe it is incomplete, impractical and costly to implement for food makers. More importantly, it is confusing to consumers. Therefore, in FY2016, we formally announced our support for the enactment of federal legislation in the U.S. to establish a single mandatory labeling standard for foods derived from GMOs.

The decisions we have made with regard to GMOs have not been because we dispute the science behind GMOs or their safety. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence indicates that GMOs are safe and that foods derived from crops using genetically modified seeds are not nutritionally different from other foods. In the U.S., many farmers who grow canola, corn, soybean and sugar beets choose to use genetically modified seeds and have done so for nearly 20 years. More than 90 percent of these four crops in America are currently grown using GMO seeds. It takes an average of 13 years to get a GMO seed approved by the government for safety. Ingredients derived from these crops are in many of our products and we will continue to use them. We also believe that technology will play a crucial role in feeding the world. For us, it is simply a matter of transparency.

Facts Up Front

With Facts Up Front, we collaborated with the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute to provide consumers with a voluntary and uniform “front of pack” labeling scheme. We place icons on the front of products displaying their calorie count, saturated fat, sodium and sugar content per serving. Facts Up Front supports the current Nutrition Facts Panel appearing on the reverse of our products, and is consistent with current FDA and USDA food labeling regulations. By the end of FY2015, 100 percent of Campbell’s and Pepperidge Farm products displayed the Facts Up Front icons. Transition and timing for new brands and acquisitions is in development. Learn more at www.factsupfront.org.