Commitment to Protect Pollinators
Safeguarding sustainable and healthy food by protecting pollinators
As an organization committed to delivering fresh, high quality and sustainable foods to customers for years to come, Giant Eagle recognizes the role that pollinators play in food production. With as much as one third of the world’s food crop production dependent upon pollinators, it is extremely important that businesses and communities alike take steps to protect the animals driving pollination, particularly the native and honeybee populations.
Giant Eagle recognizes that a variety of chemicals negatively impact pollinators, with the notable inclusion of the neonicotinoid and organophosphate families of pesticides. We are extremely proud that all of our live plant suppliers are neonicotinoid and glyphosate free and that we no longer sell products for home garden use that use these toxic chemicals.
Carrying Our Commitment Forward to Fruits and Vegetables
As part of our commitment to delivering the highest quality and sustainable foods, Giant Eagle will require that all national and global produce vendors and suppliers adopt a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program by 2025. IPM is a pest management framework that minimizes pesticide use and risks by: relying on inspection and monitoring to detect and correct conditions that could lead to pest problems; implementing biological, cultural and physical strategies to prevent and suppress pest populations; using chemical controls only as a last resort and when economically justified; and assessing pesticide risks and prioritizing the lowest risk options.
To achieve this goal, Giant Eagle asks growers to become certified to one of the following third party certifications that include robust IPM criteria, and in some cases, other pollinator protections.
Giant Eagle recognizes USDA certified organic and international organic labels that meet the USDA standard for equivalency as protective of pollinator health.
For suppliers that are not certified organic, Giant Eagle identifies the following certifications for robust IPM: Bee Better Certified, LEAF Marque, Rainforest Alliance, Sustainable Food Group Sustainability Standard, Fairtrade International, Equitable Food Initiative, Sustainably Grown (SCS Global Services) Fair Trade USA (after year 6), and Global G.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance V 5.3 GFS and higher.
Those produce vendors and suppliers unable to achieve one of the above third party certifications must create an IPM plan that meets key, stringent criteria set forth by Giant Eagle which will be reviewed by an external entity with expertise in Integrated Pest Management.
For small-scale local produce vendors, who are very important to Giant Eagle, we commit to providing educational forums to support understanding and development of an IPM plan.
Giant Eagle supports IPM as a method to comprehensively address pesticide use. As part of this, the Company expects that all produce vendors will phase out the use of all non-essential chemicals, including nitroguanidine neonicotinoids. Suppliers are encouraged to avoid regrettable substitutions, in which the replacement for a toxic chemical is equally or more toxic than the original chemical. Regrettable substitutions for neonicotinoids include other pollinator-toxic pesticides which can be identified in this Friends of the Earth guide. Resources for safer substitutions may be found using the Pesticide Risk Tool.
Understanding the Positive Impact of Organic Items
Giant Eagle recognizes the positive impact that the expansion of the Organic food industry
has on limiting and eliminating the use of synthetic pesticides. The Company is committed to offering our customers certified Organic products at affordable prices in relevant product categories throughout our store and online, and continues to make the growth in the number and variety of Organic items in our family of Giant Eagle brands a priority.
Better Chicken Committment for Nature's Basket Chicken
Giant Eagle’s Nature’s Basket branded chicken products are a leading fresh, frozen and rotisserie chicken offering for our customers. All Nature’s Basket chicken is minimally processed and free of added antibiotics and artificial ingredients.
As Nature’s Basket chicken grows in popularity, it is critical that Giant Eagle takes steps to ensure that our chicken product continues to be raised and harvested in a manner that best protects the welfare of the animals. To accomplish this, Giant Eagle is committed to meeting the current standards of the Better Chicken Commitment for 100% of our fresh, frozen and rotisserie Nature’s Basket chicken by 2025.
By 2025, all Nature’s Basket chicken will be sourced from suppliers that:
- Adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes as approved by the Global Animal Partnership.
- Maintain maximum stocking density of 6.0 lbs./sq. foot and prohibit broiler cages.
- Provide birds enriched indoor environments including litter, better lighting, and enrichments to support natural behavior, which meet or exceed Global Animal Partnership’s standards.
- Process chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun.
- Demonstrate compliance with all standards via third-party auditing.
It is our goal to provide annual updates on our BCC progress.
Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) Tracking for Nature’s Basket Chicken Fresh and Rotisserie**
*Our current stocking density is 6.5 lbs. per sq ft. vs goal of 6 lbs.
Human Rights Statement
At Giant Eagle, we believe that everyone deserves respect and we work to preserve human rights throughout our company and our supply chain. Our actions are guided by our core values and we apply these to everyone we do business with inclusive of our Team Members, suppliers, customers, and communities.
We are committed to the protection and preservation of human rights around the world.
We strive to create an environment of respect for all individuals. We do not tolerate corruption, discrimination, harassment, forced or child labor or slavery in any form.
We are committed to an inclusive, safe and ethical workplace as demonstrated within our core values, purpose beyond profit and other human resources policies. Our human resources policies and supplier code of conduct require compliance with local laws concerning employment and individuals' rights.
We work with our communities and our suppliers to encourage cultural, economic and social development.
We believe that, through our actions, we can be a positive influence for human rights and equity
Animal Welfare Statement
Giant Eagle is committed to the welfare, and proper handling, of all animals that are used in the production of products sold.
This is a long-standing commitment. Giant Eagle pledges its diligence in working with industry and academia in the pursuit of new and improved technologies and methods to further enhance animal well-being.
This is not only the right thing to do; but it also is an important moral and ethical obligation we owe to our customers, suppliers, and the animals we depend on for products.
We support the Five Freedoms of Animal Well Being as guiding principles for its Animal Welfare policies. The five freedoms are:
Freedom from fear;
Freedom from discomfort (right environment, shelter and a place to rest);
Freedom from thirst and hunger;
Freedom to exhibit natural behavior; and
Freedom from pain and suffering.
Giant Eagle Cage-Free Egg Goal
Giant Eagle aspires to continually meet the needs of our guests in a manner that allows us to responsibly source products sold in our stores. While the realities of commodity supply availability, government requirements and other matters beyond our control may at times inhibit our ability to strive toward a wholly cage-free* egg product offering, Giant Eagle’s goal remains to transition to a 100 percent cage-free fresh egg supply chain by 2025.
Today, our guests will find that 100% of our Giant Eagle Own Brands shell, liquid and hardboiled eggs sold in our stores are cage-free. Additionally, cage-free eggs currently represent 60% of our fresh egg product assortment.
As we make progress to our cage-free egg goal, we are also turning our attention to other egg uses throughout our store. Because our Nature’s Basket brand product line is designed with sustainability in mind, Giant Eagle’s goal is to only use cage-free eggs as an ingredient in our Nature’s Basket brand products by 2025.
While we are encouraged by this progress, we know more must be done. We are continually working with our vendor partners to roadmap the transition of additional egg product and exploring ways to bring guests on this journey as we work to achieve our goals by 2025.
We intend to provide periodic updates on our cage-free egg progress.
*As defined by United Egg Producers