March 15, 2023 - Ahold Delhaize is proud to share that its great local Dutch brand Albert Heijn has opened up its renowned Better for Nature & Farming program to other market parties. The aim is to become a more widely accessible ecolabel of the environmental organization Milieu Centraal. Albert Heijn recognizes the need to make the food system more sustainable and future-proof together with its partners within the value chain. Based on the mission “Making better food accessible together for everyone.", the supermarket chain is continuously taking steps towards a healthy, social and sustainable society. Albert Heijn intends to contribute to a new food system in the Netherlands by transforming its programs from a private company logo to a more widely accessible label.
Albert Heijn is a connecting link between customers, suppliers, farmers and growers in the Dutch food chain. The Better for Nature & Farmer program began in 2017. The program and its content have been developed in close collaboration with farmers and growers, specifically for each type of chain, such as dairy, poultry, and pig farmers and growers. To date, a total of 1,100 farmers and growers have been involved with these programs, where together with Albert Heijn, the aim is to improve animal welfare, nature and the earning capacity of the farmer.
These programs are independently audited annually by certification institutes and tested for ambition, reliability and transparency by Milieu Centraal.
Marit van Egmond, CEO Albert Heijn commented on the decision "Working together in a closed supply chain from land to customer is essential to take steps towards better animal welfare, a better climate and a healthy income model for farmers and growers. We have been working towards this for some time through Beter voor Natuur & Boer. By opening up these programs to other parties, we are actively contributing to the aim to building a new food system, building a more sustainable future, and together, making the world a better place.”
Together with 450 dairy farmers, 100 pig farmers, 200 poultry farmers and 360 fruit and vegetable growers in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn is working to improve animal welfare, sustainability and climate. This specifically includes the earning power of farmers and growers. Albert Heijn establishes long-term agreements with the farmers and growers through joint consultation. The goal is a healthy price for every farmer and grower, in every season. Additional investments by farmers [in sustainability or improving animal welfare are intended to be compensated for by Albert Heijn. The supermarket chain has been working with many farmers and growers for a number of generations. They supply potatoes, fruit and vegetables, dairy products, cheese, pork and chicken meat and meat products.
The Better For program is a good example of how Ahold Delhaize's brands are working towards a more sustainable food system. Encouraging and supporting suppliers to set their own emissions-reduction targets in line with the latest scientific evidence, and signing up to the Science Based Targets initiative is a key element of Ahold Delhaize's decarbonization efforts. We aim to play a leading role in this. We are proactively engaging with our brands’ supplier base and are using our position in the world of food retail to contribute to creating a positive movement towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.