Food Products: General

Food Products | Credit: Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

Includes: all food products for consumption 

Company

Required:

  • Business core purpose includes a “green” business function.
  • Social and environmental mission and vision statement for your business on website.

Ingredients

Required:

  • At least half of ingredients are from one of these categories:
    • USDA Organic
    • Local (grown within 100 miles of production/ processing/ packaging site)
    • Fair trade certified
    • Non-GMO Project Verified if company can demonstrate transition towards sustainable agriculture and elimination of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers
  • All of your ingredients are GMO free (If any non-organic ingredients include cottonseed, canola, soy, corn, zucchini or crook-neck squash- might be genetically modified therefore ineligible)
  • Working towards reduction of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers on farms where ingredients are produced.
  • Honey extraction minimizes bee mortality.
  • • Transparent supply chain, including the following:
    • An accurate and complete ingredient list where products are sold online.
    • Each product must have its own ingredient list unless the only difference between products is package size.

Preferred:

  • 100% of ingredients are from one of these categories:
    • USDA Organic
    • Local (grown within 100 miles of production/processing/packaging site)
    •  Fair trade certified
    •  Non-GMO Project Verified if company can demonstrate transition towards sustainable agriculture and elimination of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Residues and waste materials from harvest and processing are recycled, composted, or otherwise reused.
  • Participant in a sustainable agriculture initiative, organization, network, or coalition
  • Land management includes regenerative agriculture practices including soil health and carbon sequestration.
  • Labeled with or accompanied by information on appropriate use relative to diet and personal health concerns.

Animal Welfare:

Required:

  • Slaughter conditions maximize fast and painless, including transportation and hold pre-slaughter.
  • No growth hormones, and antibiotics used sparingly and not on a preventative basis
  • No CAFO like conditions
  • When animals are fed grain, at least half is GMO-free
  • Livestock grazes on pastures
  • Any eggs must come from free-range chickens

Preferred:

  • All animal feed is non-GMO

Farm/Facility Workers

Required:

  • Code of conduct in place that addresses social and environmental farm and/or factors conditions with enforcement mechanism.
  • Ensure that no child labor is used in planting, harvest and processing. For food that is not fair trade certified or produced locally compliance with the Fair Labor Association’s Code of Conduct.
  • If using coffee, tea, chocolate, or olive oil as a primary ingredient or selling them directly, either fair trade certified or an explanation of how fair trade principles are upheld in production.
  • Farm, processing (including slaughter house) labor on owned and contracted facilities pay a wage that ensures workers well-being.
  • Workers on owned and contracted farms (including slaughter house) have access to appropriate PPE.
  • Owned farms and/or farm having a worker representation mechanism in place.
  •  Long-term contracts in place with contracted farms.

Preferred:

  • Public health education and/or service for underserved communities.
  • Source from Fair Trade of Fair Food farms.
  • Owned and/or contracted farms are certified fair labor or fair trade.
  • Owned/contracted farms are union.
  • Owned/contracted farm workers are paid a living wage.
  • Disclosed farm list publicly available.

Packaging:

Required:

  • Environmentally and socially positive packaging.
  • Packaging is recyclable or compostable.
  • Packaging components are from recycled sources and used at minimum.

Preferred:

  • Packaging can be taken back for reuse.

Transportation:

Required:

  • Program in place to reduce emissions from company vehicles.
  • Works with distributors that take steps to reduce emissions from vehicles and shipping.

Preferred:

  • Company is an EPA SmartWay partner or affiliate.
  • Company Works with distributors who are EPA SmartWay partners or affiliates.

Labor (Direct Employees):

Required:

  • Employees have access to family friendly benefits including high-quality health insurance, sick days, paid parental leave and childcare help.
  • Offer a flexible workplace culture that encourages work/life balance and makes reasonable accommodations for telecommuting and flex schedules.
    • Pays a wage that ensures working well-being.
    • Has an established program that invests in employee growth and development
    • Has an established non-discrimination policy and procedure, and ensures an inclusive workplace culture
    • Governs fairly and in a transparent manner. Is open to employee input. Has a whistle blower protection policy in place

Preferred:

  • Pays a living wage.

Education:

Required:

  • Educates consumers on how to properly dispose of your product at end of life-cycle.
  • Use transparent and truthful marketing.
  • Advocate for green business practices in your industry.
  • Established program for receiving input from both internal and external stakeholders.

Preferred:

  • Established take back program for end of product life-cycle.
  • Actively seeks feedback from industry peers and participates in industry associations and mentor programs.

Green Office Facility

  • HVAC system well-maintained, building well-insulated, and smart and efficient climate control employed.
  • System in place for reducing electricity consumption from lighting and electronics.
  • Use of Energy Star rated appliances and CFL/LED light bulbs in office.
  • Use of 100% post-consumer recycled, Chlorine Free paper in the office and in all envelopes, marketing, and print materials.
  • Systems in place for reducing paper use such as electronic processes, printers set with double sided printing as the default, and more.
  • Use of only non-toxic cleaning and pest control products.
  • Maximum amount of waste is reused or recycled including paper, plastic, metals, glass, electronics, and printer ink cartridges.
  • Action on clean energy such as purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or use of on-site clean energy.
  • Compost all food waste.
  • Landscaping done with sustainability in mind, especially considering runoff and stormwater management.