Sustainability tastes sweet in Hungary

Hungary has a highly favourable climate for corn production and Hungrana Ltd, a major player in the food industry for over one hundred years, uses local corn for its range of food, feed and fuel products. Hungrana was one of the very first companies to become ISCC certified in 2010. They achieved ISCC PLUS certification in 2017 at the request of a worldwide soft drinks company, now a major customer for the Hungrana’s ISCC PLUS certified corn-based sweeteners. Ms Luca Zselyi, Quality Management and Sustainability Specialist says: “Our company is committed to creating high quality products using sustainable production methods. The advantages of ISCC PLUS certification include market recognition, compliance with customer expectations and increased sales.”

In 2017, Hungrana purchased more than 700,000 tonnes of ISCC certified corn from 190 farmers.  The company works closely with these farmers. Day-to-day dialogue resolves any problems with their sustainability system as they occur. An annual farmers’ conference ensures that best practice production methods are shared, for the benefit of all.

The corn goes into a variety of products for the food and feed industry. It is not just soft drinks that contain Hungrana products; consumers come into contact with them when they purchase dairy products, pastries, jams and alcoholic beverages. Hungrana’s sustainable products have been developed to fit a range of exacting applications. High fructose corn syrup is a perfect substitute for beet sugar. Glucose, an aqueous solution of various sugar molecules, is a versatile additive in the confectionary and beer industries. Dextrose, an easily digested simple sugar with a refreshing taste, is suitable for usage in a broad range of foodstuffs. Corn starch powder is a fine, homogeneous powder, which is suitable for gluten free applications. Other ISCC PLUS certified products include potable alcohol and corn gluten for feeding livestock, fish and domestic animals.

Sustainable development, including the protection of human rights and social responsibility, are guiding principles for the company. Hungrana constantly keeps track of the utilisation of materials, energy and other resources, supports recycling and strives to reduce its environmental impact. The company invests in the latest technologies to improve efficiency. A straw fired biomass boiler was installed to provide process steam, whilst decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. There are practically no waste products generated; all byproducts are used elsewhere in the process. Every year goals are set for water and energy saving. To achieve their aims, the Company operates an energy management system according to the ISO 50001:2012 standard.

The company has the ISCC PLUS add-on ‘GHG Emission Requirements’. Ms Luca Zselyi again: “The GHG emissions saving supplement is important to us because we have calculated greenhouse gas emissions for almost all our products, which is an advantage for consumer brands.” ISCC PLUS has gained approval from important companies and sustainable sourcing initiatives. Coca-Cola, Unilever, the Consumer Goods Forum and Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) have all granted recognition.

Hungrana plans to make increased use of the ISCC logo as part of the company branding on its website and in paper-based communications. The logo visually communicates the reality, which is that the products are sustainable and as the saying goes, ‘seeing is believing’.

For more information on ISCC certification please contact ISCC at info@iscc-system.org.

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