Organic and specialty food distributor KeHE Distributors has created a new sustainability system for suppliers.
First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, KeHE announced its new ECOtrade program at the 2022 Natural Products Expo West trade show’s Climate Day event in Anaheim, Calif., where industry leaders addressed how to reverse climate change through workshops and industry networking opportunities.
KeHE has pledged to several climate commitments, among them decreasing transportation emissions by 20% by 2030, lowering food waste by 50% and landfill diversion by 90% before 2030, reducing global warming potential from refrigerants by 20% before 2030, and pursuing options that allow 100% of its energy use to come from renewable energy.
Some of the current participants in the program are PepsiCo, Preserve, Tasty Bite, Clif Bar, Ecos, Stonyfield Farms, Alter Eco, Delicious & Sons, Numi and Moonshot. The program is open to current KeHE suppliers, including private label producers, and if they qualify as ECOtrade partners, benefits include being featured in the dedicated ECOtrade brand program flier for the KeHE Spring publication, use of the ECOtrade logo in branded marketing materials, and a communication campaign to publicize their ECOtrade involvement to KeHE retailers.
“We recognize our impact on the planet and want to lead change within the food and beverage industry,” said Laura McCord, executive director of sustainability and corporate responsibility at KeHE. “The new KeHE ECOtrade program has been created to inspire others to use their business as a force for good and join forces with those already taking action.”
KeHE has 30,000 natural food stores, chains and e-commerce retailers throughout North America as clients. In 2021, KeHE announced plans to expand distribution in Arizona, along with making a distribution agreement with Los Angeles-based organic grocery Erewhon.