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Food Lion hunts for chemicals in private brand supply chain

The supermarket retailer is going beyond legal requirements in restricting chemicals used in private brand products.

Working in partnership with Retail Business Services, which develops private brand products for Food Lion parent company Ahold Delhaize USA’s local brands, the retailer will restrict certain chemicals from products and packaging, work with suppliers to ensure products meet standards for ingredients beyond what’s required by law today, and collaborate with suppliers to address root causes of contaminants.

As part of this effort, Food Lion 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.

Food Lion will also expand supplier testing requirements beginning in 2020 to confirm that priority products meet standards for potential chemicals of concern. Food Lion is committing to using credible certification programs that further address priority materials for coffee, tea and cocoa products with Rainforest Alliance, fair trade or organic programs.

Furthermore, Food Lion 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.

Beginning in 2020, Food Lion, along with its parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, will participate in The Chemical Footprint Project, reporting annually on progress toward the commitment. Food Lion will also monitor emerging information and reports to update its restricted substance lists on a regular basis. In 2018, Retail Business Services committed to remove all synthetic colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, sweeteners, MSG and high fructose corn syrup from all private brand products by 2025.

“Food Lion is committed to caring for our customers and our communities. This sustainable chemistry commitment is just one more way we are demonstrating that care through our sustainability initiatives,” said Meg Ham, president of Food Lion. “Food Lion has always been committed to making available the best products for our customers to nourish their families and today we are taking that commitment one step further.”

Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states: Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is part of Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam-based Royal Ahold Delhaize Group.
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