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Retailers Get Strict on Green Standards for Suppliers

walmart_jewlery.jpgWal-Mart and Whole Foods made announcements this week requiring that suppliers meet the company’s sustainability standards.

Wal-Mart Stores recently launched a line of fine jewelry that allows consumers to trace the source of gold, silver, and diamonds online.

Working with Conservation International and its supply chain partners, Wal-Mart says it is making sure the gems used in its jewelry line meet the retailer’s sustainability standards and criteria, which addresses environmental, human rights and community issues. It is aiming for 10 percent of its jewelry line to achieve these standards by 2010.

Another retailer getting tough with its supplier is Whole Foods Market, which recently implemented enhanced farmed seafood standards for all farmed seafood sold at its stores, and requires its suppliers to pass an independent, third-party audit.

Whole Foods Market already prohibits the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones, preservatives, poultry and mammalian by-products in feed, and genetically modified or cloned seafood.

The new guidelines have the following stipulations:

1.    Producers are required to minimize the impact of fish farming on the environment.
2.    Producers must provide detailed information on farming practices and pass independent third-party audits.
3.    Producers are required to show farm-to-fork traceability.
4.    Toxic chemicals such as malachite green and organophosphate pesticides are prohibited.

Wegmans Food Markets and Environmental Defense recently announced a purchasing policy for farmed shrimp.

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