With strong values and a growth strategy that guides its long-term vision, Bel assumes sustainability as a central pillar of its business, from its corporate governance, its industrial and commercial relations models, to its local operations. The Group’s motivation for sustainable growth guides its strategic decision making to ensure that its business model is profitable in the short and long term.
Our vision of social responsibility is that it should not be viewed as a project, but rather as an integral part of our day-to-day social, environmental and interaction with external and internal partners.
Our social responsibility policy is motivated by the desire to give meaning to our action in the market, taking into consideration the interests of our consumers, employees and the communities in which we are established.
The five pillars of CSR policy
Bel wants to ensure that its Social Responsibility program contributes positively to the community in which we live and work, to its employees, to all its partners and to reduce its environmental impact on the planet. As a signatory to the United Nations Universal Pact, which establishes 10 principles related to human rights, working conditions, anti-corruption and environmental protection, the Bel Group also assumes its full responsibility as a corporate citizen.
Bel Portugal’s Social Responsibility mission is defined by the search for profitable and sustainable growth, while committed to create a positive impact in the areas where it operates, based on five pillars:
1. Develop nutritionally balanced and healthy products
This line of action encompasses food safety and quality, as well as the nutritional richness and naturalness of the products. Under this pillar, the FSSC 22000 Food Safety Certification was implemented in both factories.
Consumers recognize our brands as being the cheese market brands with the healthiest proposals and distinguish Terra Nostra as it is having pure and rich milk. The richness and naturalness of Terra Nostra products comes from 365 days of pasture, with Terra Nostra being a partner of the Portuguese Association of Nutritionists.
2. Promoting responsible consumption and communication
A commitment that includes consumer access to nutritional information, transparency in the processes and origin of milk and the implementation of fair marketing practices. Bel Portugal was committed to the communication of healthy snacks through the brands A Vaca que ri e Babybel.
3. Produce and market products with a reduced environmental impact
The continuous improvement of processes to reduce the environmental impact of Bel’s activity is a constant. Bel’s factories have an ISO 14001 certified environmental management system. There are several measures implemented not only in reducing water, electricity and fuel consumption, but also in packaging materials.
4. Promote fair and lasting relations and a sustainable value chain
The promotion of a sustainable value chain is of great relevance to Bel and it was on the basis of this commitment and in ensuring the sustainability of the Milk business in the Azores that the Happy Cow Milk Program, focused on the differentiation and valorization of milk, was born. An example of social responsibility with the external recognition of both companies and public entities.
5. Implement fair, transparent and ethical policies for employees
Bel is committed to the satisfaction of its employees and works every day for the professional and personal fulfillment of the team. Bel is also certified according to the OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety at Work standard, and employees are committed to reducing the frequency of accidents at work, with the involvement of all. It is also the first food company in Portugal with the Certification of Family-Responsible Company.
CSR's 3 priority axes in Bel Portugal
At Bel Portugal we have 3 priority axes for Corporate Social Responsibility:
1. Promote pasture with our dairy farmers
We believe in pasture as a method that promotes the environmental sustainability of the Azores’ beautiful natural resources, animal welfare and nutritional wealth of milk. With the Happy Cow Milk Program, we promote pasture and the best practices of dairy production, sharing value with milk producers.
2. Good eating habits – the snack
Promoting the habit of snacking on healthy products is our vision and our commitment. Through our communication we are committed to sharing information that helps to create healthy eating habits in children.
3. Our family, the employees
For Bel, employees are their most important asset, and for this reason we promote the accountability and participation of all in the fulfillment of the operational, commercial and strategic objectives of the company, while promoting its development and personal fulfillment, recognizing their effort and commitment, with remuneration and benefits policies. Bel is a family-owned company that promotes the reconciliation of work and family life.