2015 Global Responsibility Report
True cost affordability

Walmart is known for lowering the cost of food for our customers. We have been working hard to do it in a way that also lowers the true cost to society — meaning improving yields while reducing GHG emissions and preserving natural capital (oceans, forests, water, air quality, pollinator health), and enhancing farmer livelihoods. We are doing this by:

  • Adoption of sustainable agriculture practices
  • Supporting smallholders through training and sourcing initiatives
  • Promoting sustainable practices in key commodities (beef, soy, palm, seafood, among others)
  • Reducing inefficiency and waste across the chain

Sustainable agriculture practices

Feeding the world’s growing population will require a 15 percent increase in food supply by 2025 and a 70 percent increase in food supply by 2050, based on most projections. Meanwhile, the IPCC climate targets suggest the U.S. corporate sector needs to reduce its average GHG emissions by 3 percent per year through 2020 and by more than 3 percent per year thereafter. As well, the 2030 Water Resource Group suggests a water gap of 30 percent by 2030. How will we significantly ramp up food supply, while reducing GHG emissions and conserving water?



Gain increasing visibility over the next 10 years into key metrics regarding yields, water usage and GHG in food supply chains. Foster improvements in food yields, water efficiency and GHG emissions through special projects and continuous improvement.

After launching this goal at the United Nations Climate Summit in fall 2014, we collaborated with several organizations (The Sustainability Consortium, Field to Market, U.S. Dairy Innovation Center, Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops and others) on agriculture metrics and transparent reporting. Now, the Sustainability Index contains a robust set of quantitative field metrics that our suppliers use to track and report continuous improvement, including but not limited to GHG emissions, water efficiency and food yields. This is a capability-building journey with our supply chain partners but an important first step to begin Scope 3 measurement and improvement.



Encourage suppliers to develop fertilizer optimization plans for 14 million acres of U.S. farmland by 2020.

In April 2014, CEOs from Campbell’s, Cargill, Dairy Farmers of America, General Mills, Kellogg, Monsanto and PepsiCo joined our president and CEO, Doug McMillon, at the first Walmart Sustainable Product Expo. There, they made ambitious commitments related to commodity optimization and the protection of natural capital. In October 2014, Unilever and United Suppliers announced commitments at the Walmart Sustainability Milestone Meeting. In total, we’ve established joint agricultural partnerships with 17 suppliers, cooperatives and service providers on 23 million acres of land in the U.S. and Canada, with the potential to reduce 11 million metric tons (MMT) of GHG by 2020.

Tim Richter: Optimizing fertilization, reducing environmental footprint and cost

Tim Richter, who supplies ingredients like corn and wheat to companies that make the groceries for Walmart, has been farming 7,000 acres in northeast Iowa and west central Missouri for many years. Nitrogen fertilizer is an essential ingredient to producing high yields in his fields, but Tim recognizes that overfertilization acts as a pollutant. Hoping to understand, influence and facilitate the sustainability measurement needs of food processors and retailers while adding value to growers, Tim and six other farmers formed The Triple Bottom Line Commodities, a Tier-2 member of The Sustainability Consortium.

In 2011, Tim and The Triple Bottom Line Commodities began working with Adapt-N, a computer simulation, funded, in part, through grants from the Walmart Foundation and promoted by Walmart. It takes into account such factors as climate, temperature and water to determine precisely the nitrogen level in soil, which eliminates the guesswork associated with fertilization. Farmers like Tim now have the ability to be far more precise in how and when they apply fertilizer to produce their targeted yield, which enabled them to increase profitability by $150/acre while using only the amount of nitrogen needed and applying it when the crops are able to absorb it.



Double sales of locally sourced produce sold by the end of 2015 (2009 baseline).

By the end of 2014, we increased sales of locally sourced produce from $404 million to $749.6 million. We remain on track to reach our goal by the end of 2015.

Training and sourcing from smallholders


Provide training to 1 million farmers and farm workers, of which half will be women, in emerging markets by the end of 2016.

By the end of FY2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation had contributed to training 564,321 farmers of which 297,655 were women. As of this date, funding was in place to reach a total of 837,449 farmers, including 475,537 women. During 2014, the Walmart Foundation funded four projects in Africa and Asia that will train 151,000 farmers, an estimated 79,967 being women.

Additionally, Walmart provides technical assistance to small and medium-sized growers in our supply chain through our various sourcing organizations, such as U.K.-based International Procurement and Logistics, U.S.-based Global Food Sourcing and Hortifruti in Central America.

Qiang BoPing: Improving yields for Chinese apple growers

Qiang BoPing is one of 200,000 Chinese apple growers learning sustainable agricultural practices through a program made possible by a Walmart Foundation grant to Cornell University and the University of California, Davis. Smallholder apple farmers in China face many production problems, including low productivity and poor fruit quality due to wide use of seedling rootstocks, overuse of fertilizers and rising labor costs. This training program addresses these and other key issues through a partnership with the provincial extension system and agricultural universities in both Shandong and Shaanxi Provinces. To date, 149,233 Chinese apple farmers have received training through the program. This training program has enabled apple farmers to adopt high-density planting systems on dwarfing rootstocks and associated sustainable management practices to improve yield, fruit quality and income on their family orchards while reducing the environmental impact of apple farming in China.

Sustainable commodities


Require 100 percent of the palm oil in Walmart’s global private brands to be sourced sustainably by the end of 2015.

We’re on track to meet our goal of sourcing 100 percent sustainable palm oil, supporting RSPO-certified palm oil. In FY2015, 54 percent of our palm oil was sourced through a mix of segregated (15 percent), mass balance (50 percent) and GreenPalm certificates (35 percent). Currently, we accept all forms of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil, with the expectation that our markets and suppliers will move to more mass balance and segregated palm oil as it becomes accessible across the industry.

Our commitment currently relates to our private brands. We ask all branded and private-label suppliers that participate in our Sustainability Index (nearly 70 percent of Walmart U.S. product base) to track and report progress on a range of environmental and social indicators related to palm oil. The Consumer Goods Forum, which includes several leading retailers and consumer goods companies, has committed to achieve zero net deforestation in product sourcing by 2020. We’re a member of CGF and are active in its palm, beef and soy working groups.



Require 100 percent of fresh, frozen, farmed and wild seafood to be third—party certified by Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), or managing a program in accordance with the Principles of Credible Sustainability Programs developed by The Sustainability Consortium, or actively working toward certification or involved in a Fishery Improvement Project or Aquaculture Improvement Project in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Sam’s Club U.S.

More than 90 percent of Walmart U.S, Sam’s Club U.S., Asda and Walmart Canada’s fresh and frozen, farmed and wild seafood is sustainably sourced in accordance with Walmart’s Seafood Policy. Of this offering, 69 percent is certified by MSC and 95 percent of our farmed supply chain is certified by BAP. Additionally, 15 percent of our supply is involved in Fishery Improvement Projects, with plans in place to achieve sustainable certification. Our Latin American markets have made great strides to support and expand our sustainable seafood efforts, as they’re forming policies and working with suppliers to gain more transparency into their seafood sourcing. We continue to engage with our business in Africa and Asia to expand the scale of our sustainable seafood initiative.

Helping independent fisheries address industry issues

Walmart’s commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood promotes collaborative efforts that bring together farmers, processors, importers, local governments, NGOs and manufacturers to develop region-specific fishery and aquaculture improvement projects.

For example, National Fish & Seafood Inc., a Walmart supplier, has collaborated with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and Global Aquaculture Alliance to make it feasible for small farmers to become certified to globally recognized sustainability standards. Together, they’ve created the Small Farm Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP), which assists scores of independent farmers in addressing important issues and achieving BAP certification.

“A very large percentage of cultivated shrimp is produced by small or independent farmers,” said Jeff Sedacca, president of Shrimp and Aquaculture, National Fish & Seafood. “This group must be engaged if we’re to make a significant impact on environmental sustainability. In applying environmental standards, we must help ensure small farmers have an economically viable mechanism to achieve compliance, thereby not impairing their continued access to international markets.”



Source only sustainable beef that is free of Amazon deforestation by the end of 2015.

In 2014, Walmart Brazil's beef suppliers began participating in our Beef Monitoring and Risk Management System, which tracks, monitors and promotes responsible ranching and sourcing of Brazilian beef. In 2015, Walmart Brazil will use this monitoring program in its purchase orders to source only beef that doesn’t contribute to deforestation. We’re on track to reach this goal by the end of 2015.

Helping cattle ranchers implement sustainable practices

When Lazir Soares de Castro became a cattle rancher in Brazil in 1979, he remembers being encouraged to clear forest for additional pasture. In late 2013, however, he was invited to participate in Project Sustainable Beef: From Field to Fork, a conservation program led by Walmart, The Nature Conservancy and Marfrig. Through continued involvement, his ranch has increased efficiency by approximately 1.6 cattle per hectare annually.

“Our cattle management is much improved and the adoption of rotational grazing has already brought about a promising increase in productivity,” Lazir said. “The results are obvious.”

Economic incentives, training and mapping services to better understand the forest code are being provided to ranches like his. The work has already brought about a paradigm shift that includes environmental policy and forest conservation.



In the U.S., endorse Beef Quality Assurance Program and partner with NCBA to deliver environmental Best Management Practices in beef supply chain.

In 2014, Walmart worked with several key stakeholders to launch the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB). This partnership is a key step toward defining sustainable beef in the U.S. and guiding procurement policies for sustainable beef. USRSB is an independent, multistakeholder, transparent effort focused on shaping the sustainability framework for the U.S. beef value chain. USRSB encourages and promotes continuous improvement in the U.S. beef value chain through several actions, including:

  • Identifying sustainability indicators
  • Establishing verification methodologies
  • Generating field project data to test sustainability concepts


In the U.S., align with packers, feed yards and ranchers to develop a transparency pilot for 15 percent of the U.S. supply by 2023 to ensure environmental best practices and quality standards for customers.

From 2013 through 2014, we partnered with Brathelmess Ranch in Montana — a past recipient of the Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association — and Cargill’s feed yards and processing facility in Colorado to conduct a beef sourcing pilot. It was designed to examine supply chain transparency from farm to fork and assess whether standards identified at each segment could be optimized for sustainable practices. We gathered valuable insight and recognize the significance of having conversations with the cow/calf operators regarding herd genetics and feeding regimens. These learnings will help us deliver against our goal to have 15 percent of our beef supply sourced with environmental criteria by 2023.

Challenges: Sustainable commodities

As a retailer, Walmart is very removed from the production of many farmed commodities. To have an impact on the farm requires working with our suppliers, commodity traders, producer associations and, in some instances, the growers themselves. Global supply and demand flowing around the world with limited traceability makes it difficult to pinpoint what’s going on. These are hurdles that will take time to overcome, but we’re working to understand challenges, share best practices and help align organizations throughout segments of the food chain (retail, restaurant, manufacturing, farming) on the desired outcomes and sourcing procedures.

Increase access

Hunger remains a persistent worldwide challenge, even in developed countries. For example, nearly 50 million Americans, at some point last year, struggled with hunger, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In fact, one in seven Americans — including 12 million children — turn to Feeding America, a nationwide network of member food banks, for food assistance annually. In addition to economic factors, many families struggle to access food because of geographic barriers. According to the USDA, more than 23 million people in the U.S. are in areas designated as food deserts — meaning more than one-third of the population lives at least one mile from the nearest grocery store in urban areas and 10 miles in rural areas. That’s unacceptable. In countries around the world, including the U.S., Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are working to change those statistics by:

  • Opening stores in food deserts
  • Supporting food banks/hunger relief organizations
  • Increasing market access for smallholders
Food deserts


Open 275-300 stores serving designated food desert areas in the U.S. by 2016 (beginning in 2012).

By the end of FY2015, we’d opened 375 stores serving food deserts across the U.S. We exceeded our goal a year ahead of schedule.

One store, two food deserts

When store manager Alvin Robinson opened Walmart #5968 in Washington, D.C., in 2013, he fully realized it wasn’t going to be just any store. The new facility would serve not one, but two USDA-designated food deserts, bringing a wide assortment of fresh produce and meats at affordable prices to two communities that had limited access. From opening day, Robinson and his team of associates have gone above and beyond to become an asset to the community, holding a Feed the Children event that served hundreds of families in April 2014, working with the District of Columbia Central Kitchen to promote healthier food choices and more. It’s one of many examples of our stores increasing access and support in the communities we serve.

Hunger relief


Provide 4 billion meals to those who need them in the U.S. from 2015 to 2020 via grants from the Walmart Foundation and food donations from our Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers.

Since FY2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated 1.1 billion meals through our stores and clubs and through philanthropic investments in charitable and federal meal programs. In FY2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation contributed more than $61 million in funding to organizations.

Engaging with Feeding America to grow capacity, efficiency

For years, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have supported Feeding America’s mission — Feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. But since 2009, we’ve committed to walking side by side with Feeding America to help grow its capacity to rescue and distribute more perishable food across the U.S. in a sustainable, cost-effective way.

Japan: Second Harvest

Since 2009, Walmart Japan has donated food from our stores to Second Harvest, the oldest food bank NGO in the country. In 2014 alone, we donated more than 100,000 food items and expanded the program to 81 participating stores. We plan to grow the program to more than 130 stores in the greater Tokyo area by the end of 2016.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are true leading partners with Feeding America in the fight to end hunger in the United States. The critical support we receive from Walmart allows us to build and strengthen our vital programs that foster a more food-secure future for our nation. We’re tremendously grateful for its ongoing commitment. Bob Aiken
CEO, Feeding America


Engage associates and customers in supporting hunger relief efforts.

In FY2015, our associates volunteered more than 159,000 hours to hunger relief causes and organizations, raising more than $1.4 million through Volunteerism Always Pays — our corporate volunteerism program.

Susan Montgomery: Going beyond to serve

Some in Jefferson County, N.Y., know Susan Montgomery as an associate at the Walmart store in LeRay. But, with volunteer and financial support through Walmart’s Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) program, she’s also responsible for serving up more than 1,000 meals per month to local families in need at the nearby Antwerp Food Pantry. Montgomery stepped in to run the pantry in April 2012 when she learned it was in danger of closing, and has been doing it ever since. She organizes volunteers to serve meals, coordinates deliveries to those who physically can’t get to the pantry and plans multiple fundraisers annually.

The opportunity Walmart has given me to better serve my community is a blessing. Susan Montgomery
Associate, Walmart #5497, LeRay, N.Y.
Challenges: Hunger relief

While we’ve already exceeded our public commitment related to opening stores in food deserts, we continue to work toward providing access to fresher, healthier, more affordable food options in communities across the country. Our work in this area is ongoing. As we work toward our goal of providing 4 billion meals to families in need, one key challenge has been balancing the need for interventions at scale with the unique needs of local communities. This has required diversification of investments beyond direct program delivery, sometimes to address a system-level issue — or sometimes to invest in building nonprofit capacity to help ensure organizations have the infrastructure, food, staff and training to assist families in need.

Healthier foods

Around the world, communities are increasingly challenged by rising obesity and other nutrition-related illnesses. Since 2011, we’ve been delivering on a series of public commitments aimed at making healthier food options both accessible and affordable in the U.S. We envision a world where nobody has to choose between products that are better for them and ones they can afford by:

  • Improving the nutritional quality of the food we sell
  • Making healthier food choices more affordable
  • Making it easy for customers to find healthier options
  • Providing tools to make planning and eating healthier meals a reality
  • Strengthening nutrition education
Nutritional quality


Improve the nutritional quality of our private brands, including our Great Value brand and national food brands in the U.S. Reduce sodium by 25 percent and added sugars by 10 percent, as well as removing all industrially produced trans fats by the end of 2015 (FY2016), compared with our 2008 baseline.

By the end of FY2014, we reduced sodium by more than 16 percent, and we continue to exceed our goal for sugar reduction. At the end of FY2014, fewer than 6 percent of products in our U.S. stores contained partially hydrogenated oils.

Great For You labeling


Develop a Great for You label, a front-of-pack seal to help U.S. customers quickly identify more nutritious choices.

More than 30 percent of qualifying items, including fresh produce, Great Value and Marketside private brands now carry the Great For You icon. This year, more than 60 lean meat and poultry items have been submitted to the USDA for icon approval. The nutrition standards were developed with experts and are based on recommendations in recent scientific and government reports.

Nutrition education


Invest in programs to help educate families about healthier food choices by providing nutrition education to 4 million people over the next five years (through 2020).

We’re focused on encouraging meals prepared at home and fruit and vegetable consumption, both of which lead to behavior change. This focus includes classes on cooking, building shopping skills or helping families make the most of healthy food resources. In October 2014, the Walmart Foundation broadened its existing commitment to increase charitable support for nutrition education to target a specific number of people reached rather than a dollar amount. In FY2015, the Walmart Foundation contributed $10 million to nutrition education efforts, for a total of $51 million since 2011. That translated into more than 929,659 people reached in FY2015.

Faith Trotter: Changing eating habits, one family at a time

Faith Trotter is a young single mother, studying supply chain and logistics at the University of Houston. To help get through school, she substitute teaches at her local middle and high schools during the week, in addition to being an active military reservist.

With her busy schedule, Faith found it difficult to put quick, healthy meals on the table for her family. That changed when she found Taste of African Heritage, a cooking class series created by Oldways — a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization that guides people to good health through heritage. Funded through a grant from the Walmart Foundation, the series has empowered participants like Faith to build healthier lifestyles.

“I used to make excuses for not cooking — fast food drive-thrus had become the easier option,” Faith explained. “Now, we eat more plant-based meals and think about the nutritional value of what we eat. My shopping has changed for the better, and my daughter enjoys helping me cook. It’s so rewarding to pass my newfound love of cooking and healthy foods down to my daughter.”

Walmart Canada: Half Your Plate

In October, Walmart Canada was the first retailer to partner with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association on its healthy eating campaign, Half Your Plate, designed to help Canadians of all ages live healthier lives by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diets.

Statistics indicate the average Canadian consumes only 3.5 to 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, well short of the recommended seven to 10 servings. Half Your Plate encourages customers to take it one meal at a time, analyzing the make-up of their plate — aiming for a minimum of 50 percent fruit and vegetables — rather than specific servings that can be confusing to many. Walmart Canada won the 2015 CPMA Fresh Health Award. This recognition is presented to the company or organization that best supports and promotes the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables using the Half Your Plate program to improve population health and industry prosperity.

Affordability of fresh food


Save U.S. customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce or eliminate price premiums on key better-for-you items.

In FY2015, we saved customers $1.09 billion on fresh produce, taking us to $3.5 billion since 2012, and our freshness continues to improve year-over-year. Based on Walmart U.S. pricing data, in 2011, a Walmart-selected better-for-you item, on average, cost 5.7 percent more than the traditional version. But in 2014, that average annual differential was reduced to 5.1 percent. As of FY2015, the average annual differential was further reduced to 4.5 percent.

Challenges: Healthier food

Sometimes it’s challenging to find food substitutes or processes to make the desired advances without compromising taste, convenience, texture and other important qualities. We’re committed to finding solutions for healthier foods without sacrificing the characteristics our customers expect, and that takes time.

In addition, fad diets and conflicting nutritional advice have left many consumers confused and even intimidated. As the world’s largest grocer, we aim to take a leadership role by becoming a trusted source for clear and relevant information related to healthy living. We’re also working with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. to help empower people to make healthier choices.

Increase food safety and transparency

As we expand our food sales across our retail markets, our goal is to bring affordable food to our customers while continually raising the bar on food safety. In addition, customers are increasingly interested in understanding where their food comes from, what’s in it and how it’s made. GMOs, antibiotics, animal welfare and farm labor within the food supply chain are more than buzzwords. They’re critical issues that play into our ability to influence a sustainable future for people and the planet. We’re working to increase food safety and transparency by:

  • Collaborating within the supply chain
  • Communicating policies and standards
  • Creating accountability through metrics
  • Establishing consistency within global requirements and audit protocol
GFSI certification journey

Prior to 2000, the industry lacked a way to ensure all food safety audits contained the same core requirements, which resulted in inconsistencies and inefficiencies around the world. The food industry took a significant step forward with the creation of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) — a collaboration of the world’s leading food safety experts from retail, manufacturing and food service companies, as well as international organizations, governments, academia and service providers — to gain alignment and credibility.

Companies can now move forward with confidence, knowing GFSI certification included a consistent set of global requirements and an audit protocol. In 2008, Walmart became the first U.S. grocer to require all private-brand suppliers and select categories of national brand suppliers to be certified against one of the GFSI-recognized schemes. In 2010, we expanded our commitment to align all private-brand suppliers and company-owned food production facilities in our international markets with GFSI. This commitment continues to be our driving force, oftentimes raising our food safety standards even higher than those required in the individual markets we serve.

  • In 2014 alone, nearly 900 private-brand suppliers and Walmart-owned food production facilities earned GFSI certification.
  • Since the initial rollout in 2008, more than 4,000 such facilities providing products to Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. have achieved certification.
  • When our international GFSI journey began in 2010, none of our company-owned facilities were certified. Of our certified private-brand suppliers, more than 93 percent was located in the U.K.
  • The number of international private-brand suppliers certified against a GFSI standard more than doubled between 2010 and 2014, from about 1,000 in February 2010 to nearly 2,100 in December 2014.
  • More than half of all company-owned manufacturing facilities are now GFSI-certified, and the remaining locations are on track to earn certification in the next few years.
MWD Farms: ‘Stair stepping’ for small and developing suppliers

Recognizing that small and developing suppliers don’t always have the expertise, capacity or financial resources to follow the traditional route to GFSI certification, Walmart created a Global Markets Program in 2011. By working directly with these suppliers, we offer a stair-step approach toward certification. To date, Walmart U.S. has helped develop more than 150 suppliers using this program.

Dave Sargent, owner of MDW Farms in Arkansas, is one of those suppliers. Dave began farming a one-quarter acre plot in 2001, supplying one Walmart store with a single produce item. Over the years, he’s grown his operation to more than 1,400 acres, supplying bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, okra and squash to Walmart distribution centers in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Dave enrolled in the Global Markets Program in 2011, stair-stepping MDW Farms to a GFSI-recognized certification by August 2013.

Leading in poultry safety

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 19 percent of foodborne illness deaths are linked to poultry, and more than 25 percent of those are directly tied to Salmonella. While the industry has significantly reduced the risk of Salmonella contamination on whole chickens, the contamination rate in the U.S. increases as chicken is further processed into parts.

In December 2014, Walmart took a leadership role by implementing enhanced poultry safety measures for suppliers designed to further protect customers against foodborne illnesses. The new guidelines — created in collaboration with CDC — are in addition to our food safety program that requires poultry suppliers to achieve prevention-based certification against one of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) internationally recognized standards. According to CDC, these additional requirements represent a significant step toward reducing cases of Salmonella by 2020.

The new program requires Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. poultry suppliers to implement holistic controls from farm to fork designed to significantly reduce potential contamination levels, including chicken parts. It also requires suppliers to undergo specialized testing to validate that the measures they have implemented are effective. Several stakeholder groups, including regulators, academicians and poultry industry associations, reviewed protocol, and all suppliers must be in compliance by June 2016.

CDC, along with Walmart, recognizes that reducing Salmonella and other pathogen contamination in poultry products is a crucial step toward decreasing the burden of foodborne illnesses. Walmart and CDC working together to protect public health and advance food safety is a great example of a public—private partnership that benefits everyone. Dr. Chris Braden, director, Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne
and Environmental Diseases
Challenges: Food safety and transparency

The food system is very global, and products are often moved several times before they reach our customers. In many cases, we’re several tiers removed from the site of original production, and it’s not common industry practice to have traceability of ingredients throughout the supply chain. So much of what we’re aspiring to — and the level of transparency our customers want — isn’t required by law in most countries. So we’re asking the supply chain to go above and beyond for the customer. We’re experimenting with ways to increase direct relationships and to increase information sharing and traceability in categories, such as dry grocery.

Measurement and access to information


Use the Sustainability Index to track sustainability improvements in food supply, and for 70 percent of goods sold in Walmart U.S. stores, if those goods are covered by the Index.

We use the Index to measure and advance continuous improvement across the world’s largest assortment of food. It enables us to work hot-spot issues in various food categories, such as pesticides, water, labor or fertilizer. Our buyers use it to work with suppliers to agree on improvement opportunities. In 2014, nearly 60 percent of food sales in the U.S. were tracked by the Sustainability Index.

HarvestMark Traceability

Sam’s Club is committed to bringing more transparency to the member shopping experience through a produce QR code program in collaboration with HarvestMark. Once live in clubs, members will be able to scan the QR codes and instantly connect to more information about products, such as where they are grown, nutrition facts, selection tips and recipes. Members will also be able to submit feedback about their experience with the products through the HarvestMark platform, providing valuable insight that will help Sam’s Club optimize freshness and quality.

In January 2014, Sam’s Club began designing the program and collaborating with suppliers. By the end of the year, 137 suppliers had signed on with HarvestMark and began developing their QR codes. The program is expected to launch in clubs in 2015.

U.K. video image analysis project

Many national beef carcass-grading schemes are based on visual assessment against country-specific grids. These, while described as market-related, don’t accurately reflect the retail value of the carcass. Our Asda business in the U.K. has collaborated with ABP Food Group to introduce Video Image Analysis to provide farmers with information that helps determine payment for strip loin or fillet without having to physically butcher the carcass. We’ve implemented the system in Perth and, in the coming years, plan to roll it out across factories that supply Asda with beef.

U.S. pork monitoring

We hold our suppliers to high standards and do not tolerate animal mistreatment. We recently began the rollout of a comprehensive auditing and tracking program for pork that includes the installation of video monitoring in U.S. barns. This will help ensure that we purchase only from farms that meet the standards of the National Pork Board’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus Program.


The food system is very global, and products are often moved several times before they reach our customers. In many cases, we’re several tiers removed from the site of original production, and it’s not common industry practice to have traceability of ingredients throughout the supply chain. So much of what we’re aspiring to — and the level of transparency our customers want — isn’t required by law in most countries. So we’re asking the supply chain to go above and beyond for the customer. We’re experimenting with ways to increase direct relationships and to increase information sharing and traceability in categories, such as dry grocery.

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