Retailer is committed to the highest standards of environmental responsibility.
Packaging, Sourcing Are Part Of The Details
Packaging and product sourcing are two nitty-gritty elements in a food retailer's sustainability efforts.
"Our policy with private label providers is that all packaging be either recycled or recyclable unless there is a food safety reason that prevents it," says Maria Brous, spokesperson for Publix Super Markets.
Getting down to details, the chain and its vendors are currently in the process of converting from waxed cardboard shipping boxes to wax alternative boxes that are more recyclable. This will eliminate the need to dispose of millions of waxed boxes, which not only will conserve energy for the company, but will also preserve landfill space as well.
As for product sourcing, Publix chooses to source close to home as much as possible. But the chain also takes into account what customers want.
"We are committed to sourcing our product at the local level if a product meets our standards for price and quality," explains Brous. "If not available locally, we then look to the state, regional, national and global levels."
The chain is committed to making fresh product, such as produce, available at the quality and price its customers expect, whenever they expect it. For example, most of the apples it carries originate from Washington, simply for the fact that that particular kind of fruit is best harvested in the west.
On the subject of dairy, Brous provides an example to clarify the company's position: "We use the raw milk produced by local cows whenever possible. However, the summer months are extremely hot in the Southeast. Our cows produce less milk in the summer. So in order to keep up with the demand of milk during the summer months, we purchase raw milk from dairy farmers outside the Southeast." -J.K.