As the world’s population grows, the challenge of feeding more people with less negative impact on the planet becomes more urgent, and with it, the global focus on building a more sustainable, equitable food and farm system. Consumers, employees, regulators and shareholders expect companies to tackle issues such as biodiversity, regenerative agriculture, circularity, deforestation and water usage. We feel the responsibility to take a seat at the table to provide input into how food production and sourcing will look in the future and how food can be produced sustainably, with respect for the environment and protecting biodiversity. We can make a real impact with our own-brand products, since we can direct what is sold and how and where it is produced.
As an active member of organizations such as RSPO, RTRS, GSSI and GlobalGAP, we help develop and maintain the highest standards for sustainable production of commodities including coffee & tea, cocoa, palm oil, soy, seafood and wood fibers.
When it comes to deforestation, Ahold Delhaize and our brands aim to achieve zero deforestation and conversion by 2025 through sustainable sourcing of all products. We already have specific policies taking the High Conservation Value approach and the No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation principles into account on soy, palm oil, wood fiber and beef. We use risk assessments to detect other forms of deforestation or conversion.
An example of how we’re partnering to advance sustainable agriculture is Albert Heijn’s “Better For” program, through which the brand partners with more than 1,000 suppliers and farmers to ensure production is better for animals, farmers, and the environment. Albert Heijn works with these farmers exclusively and focuses on reducing carbon emissions in the value chain, improving biodiversity and increasing transparency on how products are produced. Another example is The GIANT Company’s partnership with Rodale Institute, the leading voice in developing solutions for the regenerative organic movement. The GIANT Company supports three key Rodale initiatives that are centered on farm consulting, farmer training and research. Through this program, farmers will receive support on the transition to organic farming and training in regenerative organic agriculture.
Our target is to have 100% of our own-brand tea, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, soy, wood fibers and seafood certified against an acceptable standard by 2025.