Sysco Develops 'Superior' Supply Chain
(3BL Media/Just Means)- In 2009, food giant Sysco [NYSE: SYY] traveled with Vermont's Sustainable Food Lab to the farm lands of Central America with hopes to explore how they might be able to partner together to promote the inclusion of small-scale family farms from high poverty areas into high value supply chains. Through collaboration with Superior Foods, Sysco is now purchasing from over 200 small farms in Guatemala. These small-scale farms have benefited through these investments in good agricultural practices, compost production, and business management skills.
The Sustainable Food Lab commends Superior Foods for Sysco's success:
Superior Foods understands that sustainability is not a singular event or investment; it is an ongoing process constantly building on the foundations of continuing education, providing and applying proper resource management, and developing genuine, long-lasting relationships. Not only has Superior Foods played a considerable role in providing the struggling families of Guatemala with essential resources such as: a) increased access to capital through a revolving fund, b) access to fertilizers and other inputs at reduced costs, c) greenhouses and tools for seedling production, and d) the support and inspiration for the local freezing plant, AlimentosSumar, they have also passed down their personal knowledge of sustainable practices so that this current generation can continue to promote the benefits of sustainability for generations to come.
Through this partnership, Sysco hopes to source from 500 additional, small Guatemalan farms. By the end of the project, the impact will reach over 4,000 individuals. But the impact doesn't end there. With the help of the Sustainable Food Lab, Sysco reevaluated its sustainability strategies. The following four commitments were developed:
1. We are committed to ensuring a reliable and safe supply of food that meets the evolving needs of our customers.
2. We are committed to creating positive change in our organization, the environment and the communities we serve, a commitment that ultimately enhances the value of our business.
3. We focus our sustainability efforts and community engagement to have a strategic and positive impact on the foodservice industry. Our sustainability programs are based on sound science and have meaningful metrics.
4. We are committed to communicating our results.
This enriched level of commitment by Sysco demonstrates that a major measure of partnership value is how much both partners take away from the experience.