Metro has pledged to develop a line of private brand meat products free of growth hormones, as well as a line of private brand organic chicken products, as part of corporate responsibility initiatives taking effect this month.
The grocery retailer, which has annual sales of over $12 billion and more than 65,000 employees, recently announced the adoption of its Responsible Procurement Framework and Supplier Code of Conduct as part of its Corporate Responsibility Plan 2016-2020.
Metro said the new initiatives would enable it to provide customers with responsible products while communicating its expectations and requirements to suppliers.
In a release, Metro said the adoption of these initiatives brings structure to policies that have already been enacted – such as its sustainable fisheries and local purchasing policies.
In a consumer survey conducted last year, Metro found 85% of respondents considered making responsible purchases important for a food retailer. The new polices are based on four key principles that build on Metro’s existing product and service selection criteria, which include price, quality and availability:
* Business ethics
* Respect for workers and contribution to socio-economic development
* Protection of the environment
* Respect for animal health and welfare
In addition to the new meat and chicken lines, Metro said it would work to ensure 100% of chicken used in its private label chicken brand “Irresistibles” was purchased in Quebec and Ontario, and all of its private brand tuna came from sustainable fishing.
The Supplier Code of Conduct for responsible procurement oversees aspects of its vendor partners’ business including business ethics, respect for workers, environmental protection and respect for animal health and welfare.
Metro plans to use what it described as “a range of implementation tools” to ensure compliance and proper application of the Supplier Code of Conduct. These include supplier self-assessment questionnaires, ongoing improvement program and audits conducted either by Metro or a third party.