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Kroger introduces a fresh produce sustainability initiative

Kroger, the supermarket giant, has introduced a new sustainability initiative aimed at promoting environmental responsibility within its fresh produce supply chain. The company’s goal is to ensure that all its fresh produce suppliers implement integrated pest management (IPM) practices by either 2028 or 2030, depending on the size of the grower.

Kroger has set a clear timeline for growers to adopt IPM practices. Medium-to large-sized growers are expected to meet the sustainability goal by the end of 2028, while smaller-sized growers have until 2030 to comply. This move highlights Kroger’s commitment to fostering a resilient and sustainable agriculture supply chain.

Biodiversity protection is at the core of Kroger’s community impact strategy, Thriving Together. By mandating the use of Integrated Pest Management practices, Kroger aims to reduce the reliance on pesticides, contributing to the improvement of pollinator health outcomes.

To facilitate compliance, Kroger has outlined a set of certifications that suppliers can achieve, including Bee Better, Biodynamic, Certified Sustainably Grown, Equitable Food Initiative, Fair Trade International, Fair Trade USA, GLOBALG.A.P., LEAF MARQUE, MPS-ABC, Rainforest Alliance, Regenerative Organic, Sustainable Food Group Sustainability Standard, USDA Organic, or international equivalents.

Kroger collaborated with the Sustainable Food Group, a branch of the IPM Institute of North America, to develop the goal and compliance roadmap. The company ensured that the initiative was founded on best practices, conducting interviews with suppliers to ensure the feasibility and impact of the sustainability goal.

This initiative aligns with Kroger’s existing efforts to conserve natural resources in its supply chain, including commitments to seafood sustainability and no deforestation. Furthermore, Kroger plans to expand its focus on sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, and conservation by conducting a supply chain biodiversity risk assessment, piloting biodiversity metrics with row crop and specialty crop suppliers, and performing targeted climate risk assessments within its supply chain.

As Kroger takes these additional measures, it remains committed to fostering a more sustainable and responsible food system.

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