Since 2014, Beam Suntory has been a world leader in premium spirits. Locally, Beam Suntory operates Alberta Distillers Ltd. In Calgary, Alberta where they produce brands like Alberta Premium Whisky, Alberta Pure Vodka and Northern Keep Vodka, a brand that promotes and spreads awareness about nature conservation in Canada.
Beam Suntory has recently established Proof Positive, the company’s first enterprise-wide sustainability strategy that demonstrates their ambitions to make a positive impact on the planet, their consumers and their community.
“As part of our Proof Positive strategy, we are committed to working with farmers that use regenerative practices and planting more trees than are harvested to make our barrels,” says Nicholas Winters, Supply Chain Manager for Beam Suntory. Beam Suntory has also partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect 5 ft2 of ecologically significant land with every bottle of Northern Keep Vodka sold.
“In our research, we encountered work by Cereals Canada and Ducks Unlimited regarding winter wheat. We were aware of the benefits regarding run off and erosion, but were eager to learn more about the ecological benefits of winter wheat as far as nesting habitat. We thought this was a good story to tell and linked with what we were trying to do with Northern Keep Vodka and our sustainability efforts.”
The sustainability benefits of winter wheat are just the beginning. Winter wheat offers a desirable flavour profile as well: “Winter wheat gives our product a subtle sweetness, helping to create a smooth and drinkable vodka with distinctly Canadian characteristics.”
Great taste and ecological benefits offer double value to consumers that want to support brands that share their values. “Over the last few years, we have seen that consumers’ purchasing habits have shifted towards looking for more eco-friendly products to purchase and enjoy. This ties together two key trends we’re seeing in the marketplace: the growing desire for premium food and beverage brands that tell the story of how they were grown, and consumers seeking brands that understand their environmental footprint and actively work to reduce it.”
Beam Suntory found the certification process to be relatively easy, in line with existing processes they already engage in for food safety. Nicholas says, “By partnering with groups like Cereals Canada, we can leverage their expertise as we seek to become better in our sustainability journey. We believe the certification will also speak to our consumers, giving third party credibility to our sustainability claims.”
Learn more about Northern Keep at: https://www.northernkeep.ca/