In its latest move to make products and packaging more sustainable, Ahold Delhaize USA announced that each of its local brands—Food Lion, Giant Food, GIANT/MARTIN’S, Hannaford, Peapod and Stop & Shop, and its U.S. services company, Retail Business Services, which develops private brand products for each of the local brands—have implemented a new sustainable chemistry commitment. Under the new commitment, Ahold Delhaize USA companies will restrict certain chemicals from products and packaging, work with suppliers to ensure products meet high standards for ingredients, beyond what’s required by law today, and collaborate with suppliers to address the root causes of contaminants.
“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 USA. “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 sustainable chemistry policy that each of Ahold Delhaize USA’s companies have adopted outlines sustainable chemistry practices across three key areas:
- Restricting Chemicals of Concern. Ahold Delhaize USA’s companies will restrict the intentional use of chemicals of concern and place chemicals of concern, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), Bisphenol A (BPAs), Phthalates and more on a restricted substance list for a full range of private brand products. 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. Ahold Delhaize USA’s companies will expand supplier testing requirements beginning in 2020 to confirm that priority products meet its high standards, beyond what is required by U.S. law, for potential chemicals of concern. Ahold Delhaize USA and its local brands are committed to using credible certification programs that further address priority materials for coffee, tea and cocoa products with Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade or organic programs.
- 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. Additionally, the companies are expanding product ingredient information provided to consumers, beyond what is required by law, to support the selection of trusted brands and products.
“Each of the Ahold Delhaize USA companies is committed to sustainable chemistry from farms and fields to production and packaging to store shelves,” said Furrow. “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.”
Beginning in 2020, Ahold Delhaize USA and its companies will participate in The Chemical Footprint Project, reporting annually on progress toward the commitment.
The companies will also monitor emerging information and reports to ensure that their restricted substance lists are updated on a regular basis. The work builds upon a commitment that Retail Business Services, Ahold Delhaize USA’s services company, made last year to remove all synthetic colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, sweeteners, MSG and high fructose corn syrup from all private brands products by 2025.
Considered together, the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA comprise the largest grocery retail group on the East Coast and the fourth largest group in the nation, with nearly 2,000 retail stores and more than 6 billion annualized online grocery orders.