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Kroger unveils new produce supplier biodiversity goal

kroger esg report 2024

CINCINNATI, Jan. 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Kroger Co. BB #:100073 today announced a new goal to advance sustainability in its fresh produce supply chain, further protecting pollinators and biodiversity. Kroger will require all of its fresh produce suppliers to use Integrated Pest Management practices for all products supplied to Kroger by 2028 or 2030, based on the grower’s size. Medium- to large-sized growers will be expected to meet the goal by the end of 2028, and small-sized growers by 2030.

“We depend on a healthy and resilient agriculture supply chain to keep bringing fresh, affordable food to more of America,” said Lisa Zwack, head of sustainability for Kroger. “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 work builds on Kroger’s existing focus on conserving natural resources in our supply chain, including through our seafood sustainability and no-deforestation commitments.

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

“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
  • 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. To take additional steps toward a more sustainable food system, 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.

To learn more about Thriving Together, download Kroger’s 2023 report.

About Kroger
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit™. We are, across our family of companies nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.