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Ahold Delhaize sets ambitious sustainability, health goals

Supermarket conglomerate Ahold Delhaize USA is unveiling a detailed strategy to provide healthier products with a more sustainable supply chain.

Ahold Delhaize, parent company of regional grocery chains including Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford, and Stop & Shop, seeks to enable customers to make healthier choices, create greater product transparency, eliminate waste and take climate action, all in support of developing a more sustainable food supply chain.

Following is a brief overview of how the company is pursuing each goal.

Healthier choices
Ahold Delhaize USA recently announced a partnership with Partnership for a Healthier America, through which it will increase access to healthier food options for consumers and publicly disclose the percentage of sales from healthier options.

Greater transparency
Ahold Delhaize USA is committed to developing a program that enables consumers to shop based on personal preferences such as using less plastic, ensuring humane treatment of animals, finding products free of chemicals of concern, and more. 

By 2025, the company plans to enhance the information provided about where products come from, beginning with fresh produce and meat. Ahold Delhaize USA will expand its current progress to sustainably sourced seafood, coffee and tea to be 100% sustainably certified in cocoa, palm oil, pulp and paper products and packaging and making key advances in animal welfare and human rights.

Ahold Delhaize USA is also partnering with HowGood to bring customers an easy-to-use environmental and social impact rating system. HowGood analyzes each ingredient against environmental and social criteria, including farming practices, treatment of animals, labor conditions and chemical use. Any product that receives one, two or three leaves is one of the most sustainable products on the market. Giant Food, The Giant Company and Stop & Shop began to offer the rating system to customers shopping online the week of Feb. 8.

In addition, all private brand products will have clear on-pack bioengineered food disclosure ahead of the Federal Bioengineered labeling deadline of Jan. 1, 2022. Ahold Delhaize USA says it also maintains robust animal welfare guidelines, grounded in the five freedoms of animal welfare, including requirements for suppliers and issue statements on topics within animal welfare such as cage free eggs, animal testing, and growth hormones. 

Eliminating waste
By 2025, Ahold Delhaize USA is committing to reduce food waste by 32%, and 50% by 2030. Ahold Delhaize USA will continue work toward zero waste by achieving 90% waste diversion. Additionally, by 2025, Ahold Delhaize USA will seek to reduce overall use of single-use plastics, including making private brand products 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable and increasing recycled content by 25% by 2025. 

Furthermore, Ahold Delhaize USA companies have also announced investment in artificial intelligence-based supply chain technologies that through enhanced forecasting capabilities will reduce waste by better predicting demand and supplying only the right amount of products to stores and e-commerce distribution points.

Climate action
In 2020, Ahold Delhaize released science-based targets and time-bound goals for 2030. The company is committed to reduce carbon emissions by 50% from its own operations by 2030, while working with suppliers to reduce emissions from the supply chain by 15%.

“The past year has truly been an unprecedented time for food retailers,” said Kevin Holt, CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA. “But what has remained unchanged is our commitment to delivering for consumers whenever, wherever, however they want to shop. Food – and how consumers shop for it – has far-reaching impact. As food retailers, we recognize that our role in the food supply chain comes with great responsibility. That’s why we’ve committed to these goals – to hold ourselves accountable to the customers we serve and our world.”

Ahold Delhaize USA says it is committed to ongoing sustainability work and will release additional goals and plans for 2030 and beyond to build on these commitments. The company is a division of Netherlands-based supermarket conglomerate Ahold Delhaize and operates more than 2,000 stores across 23 states under banners including Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Co., Hannaford, and Stop & Shop.

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