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Ahold Delhaize Announces a New Commitment to Sustainability

WGB's 2019 Grocery Business of the Year continues to innovate
Photograph courtesy of Ahold Delhaize USA

Ahold Delhaize USA announced a move to make products and packaging more sustainable.

Going forward the company will restrict certain chemicals from its products and packaging, while also undertaking efforts to work with its suppliers to ensure that products on its store shelves meet high standards. Ahold Delhaize stated that its efforts go beyond what’s required by law today. 

Each of the company's brands, as well as its U.S. services company, Retail Business Services, will participate in the new campaign.

“The great local brands of Ahold Delhaize USA are known for their close local and personal connections with customers and communities,” said Brittni Furrow, VP of sustainable retailing and healthy living for Ahold Delhaize. “Consumers indicate they want more transparent products for their families, made with ingredients they can feel good about. We’re pleased to launch this new commitment, which will bring more sustainable options, free from unwanted ingredients, to neighborhood grocery stores.” 

The new sustainable chemistry policy includes a set of newly adopted practices across three key areas: 

  • Restricting Chemicals of Concern. Ahold's companies have put in place a measure to restrict the intentional use of chemicals of concern such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), bisphenol A (BPAs) and phthalates. The restricted list will cover both private brand products and food packaging for these products, and work will focus on ensuring more sustainable substitutes for chemicals of concern are used. 
  • Verifying Chemicals of High Priority Are Removed. Likewise, Ahold Delhaize will expand supplier testing requirements, beginning in 2020, to confirm that products meet its high standards, while also stocking local brands that have demonstrated their own similar efforts.
  • Collaborating With Suppliers to Address Root Causes of Contaminants. Ahold Delhaize USA and its local brands will partner with suppliers, agricultural producers and external organizations to research and act to minimize the occurrence of potential contaminants of concern in finished products and to advance greener chemistry options. 

Along with the reduction and elimination of unnecessary ingredients and chemicals in everyday products, Ahold said it will continue to sell sustainable products such as coffee, tea and cocoa products in line with Fair Trade and the Rainforest Alliance. Beginning in 2020, Ahold Delhaize and its companies will participate in The Chemical Footprint Project to begin reporting annually on its progress toward the commitment. 

“Each of the Ahold Delhaize USA companies is committed to sustainable chemistry from farms and fields to production and packaging to store shelves,” Furrow said. “Sustainable chemistry is a complex and evolving topic, but one that Ahold Delhaize USA and its companies are committed to addressing in collaboration with others in the best interest of consumers.”

Earlier this year, WGB chose Ahold Delhaize as its 2019 Grocery Business of the Year for its innovation and success in building a strong locally driven, brand-centric approach to grocery. 

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