Mengniu and Bel Group to Jointly Promote Sustainable Development Practices Across the Sino-French Dairy Industry

HONG KONG, May 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited (“Mengniu” or the “Group”) (HKEX: 2319) and The Bel Group, a world leader in branded cheese and a major global food player, officially signed a “Sustainable Development Cooperation Proposal” to jointly promote sustainable development practices across  the Sino-French dairy industry at the sixth meeting of the Sino-French Entrepreneur Committee held in Paris, France, on May 6. In the presence of government officials from both countries, Li Pengcheng, Executive President of Mengniu; and Frédéric Médard, Chief Financial Official, Chief Impact Officer, and member of the Executive Committee of The Bel Group; signed the landmark cooperation agreement.

During the meeting, China proposed the continued use of the “From French Farm to Chinese Dining Table” full-chain rapid coordination mechanism. This initiative is designed to improve access to high-quality French agricultural products, including cheese, ham, and wine, for Chinese consumers. Additionally, both countries agreed to collaborate and mobilize international efforts to address climate change and promote global biodiversity conservation processes to jointly protect the planet.

According to the agreement, both companies will actively implement the spirit of the meeting and cooperate through the mutual sharing of best sustainable development practices and food decarbonisation which include low-carbon farming practices, nutritional awareness programs, and the fight against food waste. Signed on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-French relations, the strategic cooperation agreement between both companies on sustainable development practices has far-reaching significance and will deepen the all-round cooperation on agriculture and food between China and France.

Li Pengcheng commented,  “There is ample room for the Sino-French dairy industry to cooperate. This agreement demonstrates the determination of both companies and countries to participate in global governance and respond to global climate change. We hope to build up a broader platform for sustainable development and cooperation around the world, and leverage the green power of China’s dairy industry to build a better world.”

Frédéric Médard added, “Menghiu is a leading dairy company in China, we anticipate strong mutual benefits by sharing our best practices. Through this collaboration, we look forward to building a roadmap that will contribute to sustainable dairy production.”

The Bel Group is a century-old family run company established in the Jura region of France. Today it is a major international player in the food industry, present in 126 countries. Their brands include The Laughing Cow, Kiri, and BabyBel among others, providing more than 20 billion products to consumers around the world every year.

The Bel Group’s mission is to provide access to healthier, more sustainable food for everyone. It is determined to work towards the development of a new food model that benefits everyone and is more respectful of the planet and its people, in line with its motto “For All, For Good”.

In particular, The Bel Group has put in place an ambitious strategy to reduce its carbon emissions, in line with the +1.5°C trajectory established by the Paris Agreements. To achieve this, it is relying on various initiatives: the introduction of sustainable and innovative agricultural practices and the development of plant-based offerings, new carbon-free proteins, and eco-friendly packaging to limit food waste.

As a national dairy team member of China and a top eight diary company globally, Mengniu has always maintained sustainable development at the core of its development strategy. In order to fulfill its “greener” commitment, Mengniu has implemented a series of initiatives in line with its “GREEN” sustainability strategy and the dual carbon strategic goals it released in 2022, as well as confirmed its commitment to “peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050”.

Over the years, Mengniu has made new innovative breakthroughs in the green dairy industry by reducing carbon emissions in upstream pastures, strengthening water management, responsibly managing supply chains, and launching various green and low-carbon products, which has been widely recognized. In 2023, Mengniu received a “AA” ESG rating from MSCI, the highest among China’s integrated dairy companies. In addition, it has been ranked as a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index for four consecutive years, demonstrating its outstanding performance in the field of sustainability.

According to the agreement, the two companies will cooperate on a number of sustainable initiatives. In terms of agricultural cooperation, the two companies will focus on research and development to promote sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices to reduce their environmental impact, optimize herd management, and improve the overall sustainability of dairy farming. In terms of carbon management and reducing emissions in dairy production, the two companies will share expertise and apply them to their respective dairy production processes to optimize carbon emission management. In terms of sustainable packaging and food waste prevention, the two companies will exchange solutions for sustainable dairy product packaging and adopt more sustainable packaging processes and materials.

In addition, the two companies will work together on public welfare initiatives aimed at promoting nutrition and health, especially the “Nutrition for All” initiative for children and adolescents. This demonstrates their commitment to continuous innovation and development in nutrition and health for the benefit of communities and sustainable development.

The signing of this cooperation will open up a new chapter in Sino-French dairy cooperation. Going forward, both companies will complement each other’s advantages and share practices in the field of sustainable development, jointly build up an innovative production roadmap that respects the earth’s natural resources and benefits the entire dairy industry chain, and provides a new model and injects new vitality into the sustainable development of the world’s dairy industry.

About China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited

China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited and its subsidiaries mainly manufacture and distribute quality dairy products in China. It is one of the leading dairy product manufacturers in China, with MENGNIU as its core brand. Mengniu offers diversified products including liquid milk products, ice cream, milk formula and cheese. Mengniu ranked 8th in the 2023 “Global Dairy Top 20” list published by Rabobank. In March 2014, Mengniu became a Hang Seng Index constituent, making it the first blue-chip Chinese dairy product manufacturer. In 2023, Mengniu’s MSCI ESG rating was elevated to AA, distinguishing it as the only comprehensive dairy company in China to achieve this rating. Mengniu is a constituent of the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index, Hang Seng (Mainland and Hong Kong) Corporate Sustainability Index, Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Benchmark Index and HSI ESG Enhanced Select Index.

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