A major grocery retailer is taking significant steps to enhance sustainability within its fresh produce supply chain, with a particular focus on biodiversity and the welfare of pollinators. The company has set a new target for its suppliers of fresh produce, mandating the adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices for all supplied products based on their scale.
Growers classified as medium to large, who provide products to this retailer, are expected to achieve compliance with this target by the close of 2028. Smaller-scale growers have a deadline set for 2030. Additionally, the company has outlined plans to conduct a risk assessment for biodiversity within its supply chain. They will also pilot biodiversity metrics with suppliers involved in row crop and specialty crop production, along with targeted assessments of climate-related risks throughout their supply chain.
The Head of Sustainability for the retailer stressed the significance of a robust and resilient agricultural supply chain in ensuring the availability of fresh and affordable food. This newly established sustainability objective is aligned with the company’s evolving approach to resource conservation and aims to provide clear guidance to growers as they transition towards more sustainable practices in fresh food production.
To develop and implement this objective, the retailer partnered with the Sustainable Food Group, a division dedicated to sustainability within the agriculture industry. Additionally, they engaged with suppliers to ensure that the objective is both impactful and attainable.
Suppliers can meet the newly established standard by obtaining relevant certifications such as those related to sustainable and organic practices, fair trade, and biodiversity enhancement.