Lead Us Forward
We are delivering on the promise of our purpose by advancing our commitment to real food, transparency and sustainability, and by fostering deep community connections where we have operations.
President and CEO
Dear Campbell Stakeholders,
In January 2019, I was named Campbell’s President and CEO. Having spent my entire career in the food business, I was very familiar with Campbell and its brands when I joined. Since then, my respect for the company and confidence in our employees has only grown. This is based not only on the company’s rich history; but also on the progress we have made to strengthen Campbell’s foundation in support of our growth plans.
In 2019, Campbell celebrated its 150th anniversary, a significant milestone. Not many companies have endured such a test of time, particularly given the rapidly changing business environment. But Campbell Soup Company has staying power. This is a testament to our heritage and the iconic brands that Campbell employees – past and present – have created and continue to nurture and grow. It is also a testament to our efforts to improve the communities where we live and work and act as good stewards of our natural resources.
As we celebrated our history, we took the opportunity to look ahead to define our future. This past year, we introduced a new strategic plan that we are confident will create value for all of our stakeholders.
Campbell’s Strategic Objectives
One of the key pillars of our new strategy is to “Deliver on the promise of our purpose.” To do this, we are advancing our commitment to real food, transparency and sustainability, and to fostering deep community connections where we have operations.
With this new strategy in place, Campbell is now a focused brand powerhouse centered in North America with two divisions: Snacks and Meals & Beverages. These two core businesses are comprised of iconic brands and united by our values and our purpose, Real food that matters for life’s moments. These words ring truer today than they ever have, and we are delivering our purpose through the brands that consumers know, trust and love.
I am pleased with how we have advanced our corporate responsibility goals and priorities. We have started to demonstrate that we can deliver improved financial performance while also meeting our sustainability commitments.
This year’s report provides details on these advancements, but I would like to highlight several that I find particularly meaningful.
Driving Sustainable Change
Our commitment to sustainability can be traced back to our founding, when we began canning products. Steel cans are the most recycled packaging in the United States, and we have trusted them to protect and preserve our food for 150 years. Our consumers expect us to do what is right, from responsibly sourcing our ingredients to making our food with care. We continue to put practices in place that will help build a more resilient and sustainable food system.
One such example is our partnership with Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN™ to engage wheat growers in more sustainable growing practices through farmer engagement and training. Wheat is an important ingredient in our portfolio and enables us to deliver more than a billion servings of whole grains annually into the marketplace through products like our Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain breads and Goldfish crackers. We have successfully enrolled 10,000 acres of wheat from a Pepperidge Farm sourcing region into the SUSTAIN™ program and recently expanded the initiative to an additional 60,000 acres.
Not surprisingly, tomatoes are Campbell’s largest crop. These tomatoes make their way into 60 million U.S. homes every year through products such as Campbell's tomato soup (each can of which contains six tomatoes), Prego pasta sauces and Pace Mexican sauces. Since 2012, in partnership with our tomato farmers, we have reduced the amount of water used to grow this important crop by 25 percent and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent.
We also continued to drive sustainability through initiatives to improve our packaging. In 2018, Campbell acquired the Kettle Brand. Recently, we redesigned our Kettle Brand chip bags, resulting in a 43 percent reduction in plastic. With this change, we will keep 2 million pounds of plastic out of landfills every year. In fiscal 2020, we plan to build upon this by introducing new packaging sustainability commitments to further reduce our environmental impact.
Fostering a Sense of Community
Campbell believes that real food should be accessible to everyone – and that starts in our hometowns, where our employees live and work.
This belief demands that we give back to our local communities. To build on this legacy, Campbell formalized five community goals to improve the quality of life in our hometowns. By fiscal 2025 we will:
- Increase food access for 100,000 residents in Campbell communities
- Provide nutrition education to 50,000 people to encourage healthy living in Campbell communities
- Invest $5 million to improve the school food environment for children
- Engage 70 percent of Campbell employees in community-based activities
- Contribute 75,000 traditional and skills-based employee volunteer hours across Campbell’s footprint to increase the capacity of our community partners
As one of America’s leading food companies, we will make a difference in the availability and quality of food for school children, particularly in Campbell communities where the need is the greatest. We know that one in seven children live in hunger and one in three low-income families report not having enough food over the summer. For the past year, the Campbell Soup Foundation has been working with nonprofit organizations, school districts and national thought leaders to design a program that will improve food offerings in schools in Camden, New Jersey, and four other communities. It is the first step in Campbell’s long-term commitment to support school food programs and improve access to nutritious food.
Building a Winning Team and Culture
None of this work is possible without our employees. As I wrote last year, culture is a serious part of our agenda at Campbell. That is why a key element of our strategic plan is to “Build a winning team and culture” by leveraging our values and the unique family spirit we have developed over 150 years.
When we implemented a new operating model designed to bring our strategy to life, we also invested in change management capabilities to ensure the smart changes we have made will stick. We have made the conscious decision to refocus on our people and invest in them. Through our talent management team, we introduced three new programs to support our efforts. They include a program to improve our operating discipline, execution and accountability; a program to enhance inclusivity in the workplace; and a leadership program that provides our people with development opportunities to advance their careers.
In closing, I am proud of the progress we have made in 2019 against our corporate responsibility and sustainability commitments, especially as we established a new direction for the company. I would like to thank our employees who bring our purpose to life every day by driving programs. As you read about them, I hope you share my enthusiasm for what we have accomplished, both in 2019 and throughout our 150-year history, and my optimism and excitement for what comes next.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Campbell Soup Company