Supermarket giant Kroger has unveiled a new sustainability initiative aimed at promoting environmental responsibility within its fresh produce supply chain.

The company’s goal is to ensure that all its fresh produce suppliers implement integrated pest management (IPM) practices by either 2028 or 2030, depending on the size of the grower.

Clear timeline for implementation

Kroger has set a clear timeline for growers to adopt IPM practices. Medium-to large-sized growers are expected to meet the sustainability goal by the end of 2028 while smaller-sized growers have until 2030 to comply.

This move underscores Kroger’s commitment to fostering a resilient and sustainable agriculture supply chain.

Biodiversity protection at the core

The supermarket giant emphasises the importance of protecting biodiversity as part of its community impact strategy, Thriving Together.

By mandating the use of Integrated Pest Management practices, Kroger aims to reduce the reliance on pesticides, thereby contributing to the improvement of pollinator health outcomes.

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By GlobalData

This initiative aligns with Kroger’s existing efforts to conserve natural resources in its supply chain, including commitments to seafood sustainability and no deforestation.

Kroger collaborated with the Sustainable Food Group, a branch of the IPM Institute of North America, to develop the goal and compliance roadmap.

The company ensured that the initiative was founded on best practices, conducting interviews with suppliers to ensure the feasibility and impact of the sustainability goal.

Certifications for compliance

To facilitate compliance, Kroger has outlined a set of certifications that suppliers can achieve.

These certifications include Bee Better, Biodynamic, Certified Sustainably Grown, Equitable Food Initiative, Fair Trade International, Fair Trade USA, GLOBALG.A.P., LEAF MARQUE, MPS-ABC, Rainforest Alliance, Regenerative Organic, Sustainable Food Group Sustainability Standard, USDA Organic, or international equivalents.

Kroger also plans to expand its focus on sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, and conservation.

Future steps include conducting a supply chain biodiversity risk assessment, piloting biodiversity metrics with row crop and speciality crop suppliers, and performing targeted climate risk assessments within its supply chain.

As Kroger takes these additional measures, it remains committed to fostering a more sustainable and responsible food system.