Social responsibility

Social responsibility at HKScan means responsible products, employee wellbeing and a responsible supply chain.

Product safety and responsible products form the foundation of our operations. We take an active role in steering responsible operations throughout our value chain. Our products are manufactured in compliance with high food safety standards and in a responsible way. They are safe for consumers, while also meeting their expectations in terms of flavour and quality.

We invest effort into promoting employee wellbeing, covering areas such as occupational health, equality and diversity at work, as well as work atmosphere. We believe in continuous development of leadership skills as a means to ensure employee engagement and a high performance culture.

A well-managed supply chain connects all the links in HKScan’s value chain and ensures lean flow and seamless collaboration between the different phases of the raw material and services sourcing process. Corporate responsibility is a high priority in all phases of the supply chain.

At HKScan we source our animals either from our own or contract farms. Contract farming means close cooperation between HKScan and our producers. We maintain good relations with society and communities by participating in sustainability initiatives, as well as policy-making processes on all levels, from local communities around the production plants to Group level.

HKScan’s efforts in the field of social responsibility are wide in scope. For example in Sweden, surplus food is given away to charity in Stockholm (‘Statsmissionen’), and products approaching their ‘best before’ date are sold in a low-cost Social Supermarket. This also has environmental benefits, as less food waste is generated. See the related press release on our website.

Social responsibility at HKScan means responsible products, employee wellbeing and a responsible supply chain.

Responsible products

As consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about issues related to health, food safety and responsible production, we work systematically to respond to their needs in the changing environment.

World-class product safety and quality

One of the key priorities on our responsibility agenda is our world-class product safety and maintenance of strict food safety standards.

All our production plants are certified according to international food safety management system standards. HKScan’s production plants in Finland, Sweden and Denmark are certified by an independent third party according to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-recognized food safety management systems standards. In the Baltics, the production plants are certified according to international food safety standards (ISO 22000). In Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Poland we have GFSI-acknowledged food safety certifications: FSSC 22000, BRC or IFS. See the table of our certified operations on our website.

Food safety management systems are based on risk assessments of products and manufacturing processes. Our staff has been trained in the management of hygiene and production processes, as well as in the systematic treatment of deviations in production processes. Product safety is never compromised.

Reliable product information and traceability

Providing consumers and other stakeholders with reliable product information is an important part of our commitment to responsibility. We ensure the full traceability of our products and demonstrate to our stakeholders that we know every link in our value chain from farm to fork.


Amid increasing health consciousness among consumers, promoting good health is a high priority in our product development. We have been commended for our efforts to reduce salt, improve fat content, and critically review the use of additives in our products.

In 2015, we made the following health improvements to our products:

  • In Sweden, we lowered the nitrite level by 30 per cent in Christmas hams
  • In Finland, we prepared for moving over to use iodized salt in all products (implemented as of January 2016)

Our long-term work to develop nutritionally high-quality products promoting the health and wellbeing of consumers is based on national nutrition recommendations. According to current recommendations, meat is a valuable part of a balanced, varied diet together with vegetables, wholegrain products and vegetable fats. A good example of our new approach to product development comes from Sweden, where our R&D team have developed a new concept of products containing half meat and half vegetables.

All in all, HKScan promotes healthy nutrition and advocates a diet in which meat and meat products have a valuable place. 

Employee wellbeing

As a major employer in several countries, the wellbeing, engagement, equality and diversity of our personnel are extremely important to HKScan. The Group develops the competencies of our personnel through knowledge sharing and training. We aim to continuously develop and harmonize our processes in Human Resources according to the Group-wide HR roadmap.

Sustainable people management supports growth

Our employees contribute to executing HKScan’s strategy. For this reason, considerable attention has been paid to people management issues over the past few years. To support profitable growth through employee wellbeing and engagement, three focus areas were identified in Human Resources for 2015: Leadership, Employee Wellbeing and Workplace Safety, and One HKScan performance culture.

investing in LEADERSHIP

In 2015, HKScan launched a Group-wide HKScan Leadership Academy project to strengthen the capabilities and professional expertise of HKScan leaders and specialists. The HKScan Leadership Academy started in June 2015 and it will run until December 2017. In total about 130 leaders and specialists from across the Group will take part in the training.

The HKScan Leadership Academy places strong emphasis on global consumer trends, the current and future business environment, performance culture and HKScan’s role in a global context. The training consists of face-to-face modules as well as individual tasks and teamwork on individual subjects or HKScan projects. The programme has targeted outcomes, such as creating excellent leadership practices across the whole Group, enhancing skills and tools to lead in matrix and monitor change, as well as achieving excellent market and business performance.

Employee wellbeing and workplace safety - invest in work ability culture

HKScan’s target is to create a culture of proactive work ability promotion and workplace safety management by implementing harmonized processes, training supervisors and management, and by focusing on strategic knowledge-based leadership. Workplace safety is a topic of extreme importance at HKScan and we are committed overall to supporting the wellbeing of our employees by every possible means.

A Group-wide work ability and workplace safety programme was initiated in Finland in 2015, and during the coming years its scope will be expanded to cover other HKScan countries. The programme covers management and follow-up of work ability, workplace safety risks and costs, process development, collaboration with internal and external stakeholders and continuous training and knowledge sharing.

One HKScan performance culture - Employee engagement

Late in 2014, HKScan carried out its first Group-wide Employee Engagement Survey (EES). A total of 82.5% of our employees responded to the survey.  Our People power index* was proven to be at an overall satisfactory level.

From end 2014 until summer 2015, all personnel have participated in teamwork analysing the results and setting targeted actions for improvements based on the results of the survey. Over 1 300 actions in various areas were defined before summer 2015. Since then managers and teams have been working together to complete their agreed targeted actions in order to raise the engagement level and improve our performance. The next EES is scheduled for September 2016.

*The PeoplePower® rating is an overall metric (0–100) for employee engagement and its main benchmarks are commitment, leadership and performance culture.


Responsible supply chain

Strict adherence to our corporate responsibility policy applies to every link in our supply chain, and we work continuously to enhance our responsibility, efficiency and transparency.

Targeting a demand-driven meat supply chain

Responsible and efficient meat supply chain management plays a vital role in creating profitable growth, and demand is the key driver of supply chain management. During the past few years, we have systematically harmonized and standardized the Group’s supply chain management. This has resulted in improved collaboration and information sharing Group-wide across countries and function borders.

Most of the meat HKScan uses in its production is of domestic origin, and is produced by our long-term contract producers. All products marketed under the HK®, Kariniemen® and Scan® brands contain only domestic meat. Imported meat accounts for only a few per cent of our raw material needs, and we strictly monitor the origins of the meat and collaborate only with audited slaughterhouses. All imports from third parties are audited to meet HKScan’s quality and corporate responsibility requirements. Imported meat sold in our home markets strengthens the Group’s offering especially in those product categories where availability of local raw material is limited.

Cooperation with PRODUCERS

Our experienced advisors and partners work together with our contract producers to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their meat production. Producers are provided advisory services related to feeding, animal welfare and profitability. Careful planning and optimization of feeding, for instance, has significant effects on the wellbeing of animals, production volumes and the environment.

We have contributed to improving primary production:

  • by upgrading poultry primary production services in Finland, see our press release.
  • by boosting feed operations in Sweden, see our press release.

Sustainable and transparent supply chain

The food industry requires large amounts of meat and other raw materials, energy, water, packaging materials, and various services. For this reason, the sourcing function has a significant impact on the Group’s resposibility, overall cost structure and efficiency.

To improve efficiency and responsibility we have during several years rationalized Group-level purchases and improved the transparency of our supply chain by  identifying and managing risks. Our suppliers are evaluated and qualified in the areas of food safety, quality, environment, ethical procedures, as well as selected in accordance to pre-defined evaluation criteria for each tendering project.

Responsible soy and palm oil

In its supply chain HKScan has identified two raw materials whose social and environmental impact can be significant: soy and palm oil. To manage these raw materials in a responsible way, we adhere to third party audit standards provided by the Round Table on Responsible soy (RTRS) and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Soy is used in large amounts in animal feed because of its good protein composition and efficiency. See our commitment on our website.

HKScan has committed to 100 per cent responsible soy in animal feed by the end of 2018, and in Sweden by the end of 2015. The Swedish commitment is currently under follow-up, and the results will be presented later in the spring of 2016. In Denmark, approximately 18 per cent of the soy used in the feed was responsibly produced in 2015.

Palm oil is used in very small amounts in only a few of the Group’s products. In 2015, HKScan became a member of RSPO. We and our suppliers initiated a project to map palm content in all our food products to find the exact volumes and the certification level of each palm ingredient. This work will be finalized during 2016.