Equitable Food Initiative Named Qualified Certifying Organization for Walmart U.S.’s New Pollinator Health Commitments
WASHINGTON, DC - As we reported last week on AndNowUKnow, Walmart has unveiled new pollinator health commitments in the U.S. in an effort to preserve the environment and habitats of pollinating species. Today, the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) has announced that is has been recognized by the retailer as a qualified third-party-verification program to help Walmart ensure its suppliers meet the company’s new standards.
“Our multistakeholder approach created a program to mitigate the supply chain risks of greatest concern to retail buyers. Our workforce development and certification approach drives efficiencies throughout farming operations and helps relieve audit fatigue. EFI engages workers to identify and address labor, food safety, and pest management threats to improve both company productivity and labor conditions,” said Peter O’Driscoll, Executive Director at EFI. “We are proud to work with Walmart to promote pollinator health and responsible labor practices.”
EFI maintains strong integrated pest management (IPM) standards that address a range of indicators and promote pollinator health. This will aid Walmart U.S. in its new commitment to source from suppliers that have third-party verified IPM practices by 2025, according to a press release.
In its mission, Walmart has committed to source from suppliers who endorse the the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices by 2022. EFI has already integrated the principles set forth in the Charter into its standards after it was published in 2018. This will allow certified suppliers to demonstrate to their customers that they have adopted responsible labor practices.
"As a company that works with so many suppliers and brands, we appreciate EFI's robust certification and training program because it helps suppliers meet multiple requirements in a single audit," explained Anabella de Freeman, Senior Manager of Sustainability and Strategic Initiatives in Produce for Walmart. “We accept EFI certification for responsible sourcing and now IPM verification, which can help certified suppliers provide transparency to their retail customers.”
Since its creation, EFI has worked to engage workers in meeting and verifying industry standards for responsible labor practices, food safety, and IPM. This new verification continues the organization’s goal of helping those in the industry meet these standards.
How will relationship continue to evolve Walmart’s pollinator health commitment? Keep reading AndNowUKnow for answers.