Kroger

Summary of Kroger grade

Pollinator Health Policy

Pollinator Health Policy

18 out of 45 points

Explanation of points

In June 2019, Kroger expanded its written, publicly available Pollinator Protection Statement beyond live outdoor plants – the new scope of the policy is vague but appears to include all suppliers for all store locations.

Kroger’s policy does not include any time bound or measurable commitments to phase out pesticides of concern in company supply chains. Kroger’s policy does not include glyphosate, chlorpyrifos or other pesticides of concern to pollinator or human health. While Kroger’s policy encourages suppliers to shift to alternative pest management, it does not provide any specific details on what that means, nor does it provide suppliers with a list of regrettable substitutes to avoid.

Commitment to reduce pesticide use
6 out of 20 points
Scope of pesticide commitment
10 out of 10 points
Commitment to least-toxic approaches in non-organic supply chains
0 out of 5 points
Commitment to expand organic
2 out of 10 points
Implementation

Implementation

6 out of 90 points

Explanation of points

Kroger’s 2020 Sustainability Report states that the company continues to expand organic offerings. In 2019, the company sold over $1 billion worth of organic produce. The report states that Kroger has more than 2,300 “natural” and organic items across more than 250 brands and sold $2.5 billion worth of private label Simple Truth® and Simple Truth Organic® products. (Reporting on organic and “natural” sales together significantly confounds the data. Organic is a robust, federally-regulated standard whereas “natural” is not a regulated label claim and has no clear definition. Friends of the Earth recommends that companies track and report organic and “natural” sales separately to provide more transparency around organic sales data.)

Kroger has not taken any other discernible action to reduce use of pesticides of concern to pollinator and human health or expand organic farming and other least-toxic approaches in its supply chains. The actions we evaluated include: 1) tracking use of pesticides in company supply chains, 2) measurably reducing pesticide use in the past three years and publicly reporting on data, 3) supporting farmers in non-organic supply chains to shift to least-toxic approaches such as integrated pest management and regenerative agriculture, 4) measurably expanding organic offerings in the past three years, 5) demonstrating support for U.S. growers to transition to organic farming, and 6) demonstrating advocacy for public policies aimed at reducing agricultural pesticide use, protecting pollinators and supporting the expansion of organic agriculture in the U.S.

Track pesticide use in supply chain
0 out of 15 points
Measurably reduce pesticide use
0 out of 20 points
Support farmers to implement least-toxic approaches in non-organic supply chains
0 out of 15 points
Measurably expand organic
6 out of 20 points
Support domestic organic growers
0 out of 15 points
Support public policies
0 out of 5 points
Transparency & Accountability

Transparency & Accountability

6 out of 21 points

Explanation of points

Kroger’s pollinator health policy is publicly available on the company’s website. The policy encourages suppliers to transition away from neonicotinoid pesticides and states that Kroger will continue to increase the number and variety of organic products it offers.

Kroger does not appear to include reduction of pesticides of concern to pollinators and human health or expansion of organic offerings in company Key Performance Indicators or other formal sustainability criteria. Kroger does not have educational content online about pesticides or organic farming, such as a full definition of the USDA certified organic label (prohibition of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, GMOs, antibiotics, and growth hormones, and promotion of farming methods that protect soil, water and biodiversity) or content on the value to pollinator and human health of decreasing use of toxic pesticides and expanding organic offerings.

Make policies and commitments publicly available
6 out of 6 points
Oversight
0 out of 5 points
Educate consumers
0 out of 10 points
Collaboration

Collaboration

5 out of 10 points

Explanation of points

Kroger has communicated with Friends of the Earth in the past year.

Complimentary Home & Garden Policies

Complimentary Home & Garden Policies

4 out of 9 points

Explanation of points

Kroger’s Pollinator Protection Statement states that “We are committed to eliminate the sourcing of live outdoor plants in our stores and garden centers that have been treated with pesticides containing neonicotinoids by the year 2020. This commitment is inclusive of outdoor plants known to be pollinated by honey bees or known to attract honey bees. Today, the majority of live plant sales in Kroger’s garden center and outdoor floral selection are not treated with neonicotinoids during the growing process. Our suppliers are actively seeking alternative options for the remaining products, and we are committed to working with them to ensure proper alternatives have been identified by 2020. We will also track, measure and report on our progress against this commitment.”

Kroger has not made a public commitment to remove neonicotinoid or glyphosate products from store shelves.

Policy for live goods
4 out of 4 points
Policy for on-shelf pesticide products
0 out of 5 points

39 Points

D
Grade

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