Margaret Rudkin, founder of Pepperidge Farm, had a passion for using the highest-quality wheat flour for her baked goods. In The Margaret Rudkin Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, she explained that working closely with flour mills was critically important to controlling the “freshness and quality of the flour” that went into her baked goods. This is no less true today. At Campbell, partnerships with the mills that supply our flour are a key ingredient to baking snacks that are delicious—and also sustainable.
This year, we announced partnerships with Ardent Mills and Star of the West, suppliers of wheat flour to Campbell Snacks bakeries. Together, we are working with wheat growers to measure, track, and drive improved environmental sustainability in our supply chain. We aim to sustainably source 50% of our wheat flour by 2025.
of wheat flour sustainably sourced by 2025.
For a better idea of how this process works, let’s take a virtual visit to Star of the West’s flour mill in Willard, Ohio, which sits next to one of our bakeries.
Most days of the year, you’ll see large trucks arriving at the mill to deliver wheat from local farmers, independent grain elevators, and cooperatives.
Once the wheat is received by the mill, it goes through four stages in its journey to becoming flour.
First, quality technicians assess the wheat quality through a series of tests, rejecting any grain that does not meet our rigorous standards.
Second, impurities are removed as the grain undergoes an intensive cleaning process, including screening and sorting. Little water is used in flour milling, compared to other types of ingredient processing, helping to keep the water footprint of our flour supply chain at a minimum.
Third, depending on the intended use of the flour, different parts of the kernel (the bran and germ) are separated and repurposed for other food products or animal feed. 100% of the wheat kernel is used.
Finally, the remaining flour is rolled and sifted into a consistent size. At this stage, the flour is nutritionally enriched to boost naturally occurring vitamins and minerals like iron. The end result would make Margaret Rudkin proud—a pure and premium wheat flour that is optimal for baking!
Because Star’s Willard mill is so close to our Willard Snacks bakery, the finished flour is sent over through sealed tubes directly connected to the bakery. This allows us to bake with freshly milled flour, while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions from trucks transporting the flour from mill to bakery.
Building our location in Willard was truly strategic in nature. It is a long-term relationship that will minimize the impact of freight from both a cost and environmental perspective. Essentially overnight we eliminated thousands of semi-truck loads of product annually. -Mike Fassezke, President of Flour Milling at Star of the West
Building our location in Willard was truly strategic in nature. It is a long-term relationship that will minimize the impact of freight from both a cost and environmental perspective. Essentially overnight we eliminated thousands of semi-truck loads of product annually.
-Mike Fassezke, President of Flour Milling at Star of the West
Flour suppliers are key supply chain partners because they help us source quality grain and then mill it into fresh flour for our bakeries. At Campbell, our supply chains and sustainability partnerships are all about our purpose: Connecting people through food they love. In the case of our wheat-based snacks, we are connecting people through trusted and beloved brands like Pepperidge Farm cookies and bakery goods, Milano cookies, Goldfish crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels, and Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps.
All while caring for the planet.
To learn more about these connections, check out past stories about our wheat sustainability partnerships with farmers and agricultural retailers.
A year in the life of Lee: A crop advisor with an agricultural retailer
Sustainable wheat for your favorite snacks
Our wheat sustainability commitment
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