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Ahold USA Joins Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program

Ahold USA has joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW) Fair Food Program (FFP), which seeks to improve the lives of farmworkers. As the parent company of Stop & Shop, Giant Food of Landover, Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, Martin's and online grocer Peapod, Ahold USA operates nearly 780 supermarkets across 14 states and the District of Columbia serving 50 million customers each month.

Ninety percent of tomatoes produced in the United States from November to May are grown in Florida. Ahold USA's participation in the program will increase the number of U.S. grocery stores carrying responsibly sourced Fair Food tomatoes by about 75 percent.

Noted Gerardo Reyes of the Immokalee, Fla.-based CIW, "Ahold USA is the first of the country's major grocers to join the program and, as such, not only will its partnership help propel to new heights our efforts to protect farmworkers' rights, but we believe its market leadership will send an invaluable message to the rest of the grocery industry that social responsibility is greatly strengthened when workers, suppliers and retailers work together toward a more modern, more humane agricultural industry."

"Ahold USA's companies are deeply committed to responsible practices throughout their operations and to providing customers with great products at great prices from suppliers who share our dedication to strong ethical standards and fair treatment for workers," said Ahold USA COO James McCann. "The cornerstone of this commitment is the Ahold Standards of Engagement, which commit our companies' suppliers to these values. The Fair Food Program is a time-tested leader in improving the lives of agricultural workers, and we have observed the program's success over the past several years. Our companies and our customers care about the welfare of workers in our supply chain, and we believe now is the right time to begin an important new chapter in our partnership with the CIW."

Getting With the Program

Under the partnership, Ahold USA's companies will do the following:

  • Continue to purchase Florida tomatoes only from growers who participate in the FFP, and expand the program's standards to farms of participating growers in other states;
  • Work with the CIW to ensure timely, periodic inspections and audits of the participating farms that supply Ahold USA's companies;
  • Pay a premium on tomatoes bought from participating growers that the growers will then pass on to field workers;
  • Give additional financial support to the Fair Food Standards Council, CIW's partner in monitoring compliance by participating growers with FFP standards; and
  • Aid the program through expanded marketing and advertising, including in-store displays, online visibility and education materials for associates.

The CIW launched the FFP, consisting of an extensive, on-the-farm worker education program with a unique set of labor standards and rigorous, market-based enforcement mechanisms, in 2010. The program's other grocery retailer partners are The Fresh Market, Walmart, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market.

Ahold USA is part of Netherlands-based international food retailing group Ahold.



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