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Sustainably Speaking — Consumers Are Asking for Sustainability

Walmart’s Dorn Wenninger told growers at the Almond
Conference that food companies are being driven to ask their
suppliers to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.
Two of the world’s largest food-and-beverage companies told Almond Conference attendees that consumers care about sustainability and want the products they buy to come from companies that share their concern for the future.

Mike Desso, director of Safety, Health and Environment at Nestlé, the world’s largest food-and-beverage company, and Dorn Wenninger, Walmart’s vice president, Global Food Sourcing, said those concerns are driving their companies to ask their suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

The Nestlé Supplier Code is a list of expectations that suppliers are expected to acknowledge and meet, said Desso. He commended the California Almond industry for steadily increasing production gains while cutting back on the use of natural resources.

Walmart’s Wenninger noted, “Walmart is committed to sustainability, and we are thrilled to see you are committed to it. It’s the right thing to do, and it is what our customers want us to do. We need you to meet your own goals and be one of our success stories that we like to tout to our customers.”

Walmart is supportive of voluntary grower self-assessment programs, which help industries set their own standards rather than wait for government to set the metrics, added Wenninger.

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