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Author Katarina Todorovic
Katarina Todorovic
Created on Aug 15th, 2023
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NUU Foods 2023: Company That Makes Old-Fashioned Food With Future Generations in Mind. Inside Each Little Package You Will Find Real Ingredients!

In a world driven by innovation and rapidly changing food trends, it's a breath of fresh air to find a company like NUU Foods, led by the visionary CEO Rafaela Gontijo Lenz. NUU Foods has embarked on a remarkable journey to bridge the gap between tradition and the future, bringing back the flavors and nourishment of old-fashioned foods to satiate the appetites of generations to come. At the heart of their philosophy lies a commitment to crafting culinary delights that harken back to the essentials – real ingredients like cheese, milk, eggs, and cassava, the very staples that once graced our grandmothers' shopping lists. Join Delivery Rank as we delve into the extraordinary world of NUU Foods, where each unassuming package holds a piece of history, a promise of quality, and a dash of nostalgia for a taste of yesteryears.

Can you elaborate on NUU's journey towards becoming a carbon-neutral company? What inspired the company to take this environmentally responsible approach?

We started our research on the company's carbon cycle in 2019. In 2020 we've compensated scopes 1,2 and 2021 scope 1,2 and 3 buying credits in Paragominas - Amazon Forest. In 2022 we've calculated the carbon footprint of every product that varies from a range of 0,62 with the Vegan Dadinhos and 1,67 with the Original Dadinhos.  Recently we're understanding how we can decrease gas emissions within the value chain.

Dadinho Vegano -  0,62 kgCO2e

Pizzas - 1,33 kgCO2e

Palitinho - 1,60 kgCO2e

Pão de Queijo - 1,63 kgCO2e

Dadinho Original - 1,67 kgCO2e  

How does NUU calculate greenhouse gas emissions throughout a product's lifecycle, and what measures are taken to ensure accuracy in the estimation process?

We calculate the carbon lifecycle from soil to plate. 70% of our gas emissions are in the supply chain due to high use of dairy products. To start our journey towards carbon zero we've built our factory based on circular economy principle with 210 solar panels, treated effluent, 10.000l storage for rainwater, thermoacoustic rooftop and treated food waste. 80% of our sourcing comes within 40 km from the factory decreasing transportation and gas emissions. We use 100% of ingredients originally from Brazil, improving local communities and increasing our dialogue to shift the mentality from monoculture to regenerative agriculture and agroforestry. Recently we were selected to participate on an accelerating program called Jornada Amazonia, to move our sourcing of yucca from Paraná to Amazon Rainforest, the biome where the root is originally from. In terms of decreasing our impact, for every 1 package used we compensate another one with Eu Reciclo. 

As a CEO, how do you balance the company's environmental responsibilities with its business objectives and financial performance?

Here collaboration is key. We've participated in many global and national programs to address our impact and decrease our carbon footprint. The toughest thing to do as CPG brand is to pivot the mentality of our supply chain, work closely with agribusiness and change the status quo. Brazil is known as a country for commodities, soil and biomes paid the price where we decreased local biodiversity to increase production of grains and meat. Our approach is to work with smallholder farmers as a root to change. This strategy is costly and doesn't necessarily help to increase velocity on retailers as we don't have a huge budget for marketing to tell this story. To not lose track of our purpose and be cost efficient we've hunted for great programs that have the same goal as us: regenerate the ecosystem. That was the case for the Game Changers Lab, a IDEO, Rockefeller Foundation initiative. The International Development Bank for Rural Sustentável with Embrapa and most recently the Jornada Amazônia. 

Are there any ongoing research or development initiatives at NUU to further reduce the company's carbon footprint and promote sustainability?

Yes, there is a project in course to produce a carbon zero raw milk cheese for one of our products. Our goal is to have a Model Farm that can be a moving lab for other smallholder farmers in the region of Cerrado Mineiro - MG. Raw milk cheese is one of Brazil's Intangible Heritage and an important ingredient to perpetuate our culinary culture. Another one is on yucca, 100% of our products are yucca based, yucca was the base of indigenous cuisine way before Brazil was colonized by Portugal. There is a lot to discover on agroforestry systems of the root and ways to use other parts of it for bioeconomy such as energy and packaging. 

As a leader in the carbon-neutral movement, what advice would you give to other companies looking to adopt similar practices and embrace a more eco-friendly approach?

You need to do the carbon lifecycle of your products. I would say that is the first step to investigate the initiatives that must be taken, otherwise you're working in the dark. It is really tough to put time, energy and money on a subject not so widely spread and not necessarily related to increase in revenue, but in the end, if it's not new companies that are addressing this great issue, who will, and if not now, then when?

If you would like to find out more about NUU Foods, visit https://www.nuualimentos.com.br/

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