Kroger Reveals New Produce Supplier Biodiversity Goal; Lisa Zwack and Ariel Larson Comment



Kroger Reveals New Produce Supplier Biodiversity Goal; Lisa Zwack and Ariel Larson Comment


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CINCINNATI, OH - Kroger is making a huge effort to improve sustainability practices in the fresh produce department. The retailer recently announced that it will require all of its fresh produce suppliers to use Integrated Pest Management practices for all products supplied by 2028 or 2030. Medium- to large-sized growers will be expected to meet the goal by the end of 2028, and small-sized growers by 2030.

Lisa Zwack, Head of Sustainability, Kroger
Lisa Zwack, Head of Sustainability, Kroger

"We depend on a healthy and resilient agriculture supply chain to keep bringing fresh, affordable food to more of America," said Lisa Zwack, Kroger’s Head of Sustainability. "This new goal reflects Kroger's evolving approach to sustainability and resource conservation, including setting clear expectations with growers to support the transition to more sustainable fresh food production."

Protecting biodiversity is an important part of Kroger's community impact strategy, Thriving Together. By encouraging growers to use less pesticides, the company is taking meaningful steps to improve pollinator health outcomes. This builds on Kroger's existing focus on conserving natural resources in the supply chain.

Kroger recently announced that it will require all of its fresh produce suppliers to use Integrated Pest Management practices for all products supplied by 2028 or 2030

A press release noted that Kroger worked with the Sustainable Food Group, a branch of IPM Institute of North America, to develop the goal and roadmap to compliance. It also consulted current best practices and interviewed suppliers to ensure the goal was both impactful and achievable.

Ariel Larson, Senior Project Manager, Sustainable Food Group
Ariel Larson, Senior Project Manager, Sustainable Food Group

"We are incredibly proud to have supported Kroger in the development of this policy, which will drive positive outcomes for biodiversity, including pollinator and broader agroecosystem health through adoption of robust Integrated Pest Management and other sustainable agriculture practices across fresh produce supply chains," said Ariel Larson, Senior Project Manager at Sustainable Food Group.

Suppliers can comply by achieving one of the following certifications:

  • 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 will continue to expand its focus on sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, and conservation. The retailer will conduct a supply chain biodiversity risk assessment, pilot biodiversity metrics with row crop and specialty crop suppliers, and conduct targeted climate risk assessments within its supply chain.

For more updates, keep reading ANUK.

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