Seeds of Sustainability

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AgricultureSysco strongly believes in and supports creating and maintaining a safe, reliable and sustainable food supply for our customers. When we provide the best possible products, our customers can provide their customers with a satisfying dining experience. Whether it’s quality, taste or sustainability, it’s important we uphold our strict standards.

Just one of the many ways we’re making a difference is our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, which is designed to maximize crop output while minimizing environmental impact. This is accomplished through the responsible use of fertilizer, pesticides, energy and water. Following these procedures allows us to provide our customers with a delicious and sustainable product.

Part of our environmental stewardship efforts involves closely partnering with our suppliers to use economically viable practices to help protect sensitive areas, improve air, water, soil and wildlife resources, and conserve non-renewable mineral resources. We continue to reduce waste and pollution through recycling and energy conservation. We limit the use of water, pesticide and nutrient inputs to the minimum needed for a successful crop. In fact, by using cover crops, crop rotation techniques and natural pest control methods, we kept more than 6 million pounds of fertilizer and 342,000 pounds of pesticides out of the environment in the 2011 growing season. And thanks to more efficient irrigation systems and equipment, our Sysco Brand suppliers have significantly decreased the amount of water used to grow our fruit and vegetable products by a significant margin.

Exceptional quality is what Sysco does best, and the IPM initiative adds another layer to our industry-leading Quality Assurance (QA) process. We aim to exceed our customers’ expectations for wholesome, flavorful food, and we take great care in selecting and building our supplier relationships and in creating demanding product specifications. We thoroughly inspect and evaluate our products and processes from field to table, to ensure consistent, exceptional foodservice products every time.

Finally, we pledge to continuously learn, make progress and implement new, scientifically-sound approaches to improve the sustainability of our business. To measure our progress, we set goals, assign responsibilities, verify performance and validate results. And wherever possible, we assess the outcomes of practices, not simply the implementation. We work hard to ensure that our programs encourage and reward our associates and trade partners for their innovation.

All of these steps are in place to provide our customers what they value — the highest-quality products possible from local sources — so that those enjoy the food that’s served to them can be sure they’re getting the very best product. From quality control points to pesticide reduction to innovative new products, our dedicated IPM initiative will track our progress. And we’ll pass what we learn and the resulting benefits on to our customers.

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