Belgian meat processor Ter Beke is undergoing a metamorphosis: the specialist in processed meats has renamed itself to What’s Cooking? – a new name to reflect its new focus on plant-based products/p>
Sustainability as a business strategy
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Ter Beke has fully rebranded, with a new name and a new strategy. By 2030, the new What’s Cooking? wants at least 15 % of its volume to come from vegetarian or fully plant-based products. The new name should also put more emphasis on innovation and its international character.
“Day by day, we will make strides through innovation, broadening our portfolio and making the chain more sustainable. Our R&D activities will not only focus on further developing a tasty and affordable range of savoury fine spreads and prepared meals from whatever origin – animal or plant. We also focus on making our existing products, packaging and our production processes more sustainable”, CEO Piet Sanders said in a press release.
Sustainability now becomes the credo, mostly under market pressure. People today are eating less and less meat, while companies also have to adapt to European climate targets. “The European climate targets will demand a lot from companies. The frontrunners will be rewarded by their customers and will create value for their shareholders”, the CEO told Belgian newspaper De Tijd.
The business unit of “meat products” will be renamed “savoury toppings”. The other business unit, ready meals, will also focus more on plant-based choices and on “local heroes”, with dishes adapted to each country. Indeed, What’s Cooking? operates in 37 countries, with twelve factories in seven countries as well.
The “new” Ter Beke is simultaneously launching its own sustainability strategy. By 2030, the company aims to halve its greenhouse gas emissions (compared to 2021) and to use 30 % less water. As early as next year, food waste should be cut by a fifth, while all electricity should be green. Sanders also wants to bring fully recyclable packaging to market by 2025.
To achieve these targets, What’s Cooking? will invest an additional 150 million euros over the next five years – some 10 % more than the 135 million from the past five years – in new production lines and energy-saving measures.