Mondelez International has announced its ambition to expand its sustainable wheat sourcing initiative, to cover 100% of its biscuit brands across the European Union by 2022.

The multi-national confectionery, food and beverage company, known for brands including Oreo and Ritz, will increase its Harmony scheme to cover all of its biscuit brands, up from 60% of its biscuit production in the EU last year.

Announcing the move, Hubert Weber, executive vice president and president of Mondelez Europe said: “As Europe’s largest biscuit baker, we can play a role in tackling challenges like climate change and resource shortages by promoting sustainable farming practices and improving biodiversity in our supply chain.

“In doing so, we contribute to creating a fairer, more transparent and integrated supply chain, in which good quality for consumers means a good impact on farmers and society.”

The Harmony initiative involves 1,700 farmers, 13 millers and 21 cooperatives across six markets (Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Poland and Spain), producing 177,000 tonnes of wheat for the company’s biscuit brands in 2017.

Through the programme expansion, annual production of wheat under the sustainable conditions set out by the Harmony charter would increase to over 280,000 tonnes by 2022 which it claims would cover the volume of wheat needed to produce its entire European biscuit portfolio.

Romeo Lacerda, president biscuits at Mondelez Europe, commented: “It’s a movement that connects everyone involved in our supply chain with others seeking to increase the positive impact we can make on our environment and biodiversity.

“By bringing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and farmers to work together, we can implement farming practices that are both effective and pragmatic. In doing so, we can act as a catalyst for positive change.”