FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016
Meredith Gremel, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, 616-878-2830
SpartanNash makes Fair Food Pledge, supports fair labor practices for farm workers
Company’s corporate responsibility commitment also includes social responsibility, environmental sustainability efforts
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – SpartanNash is proud to announce the company is the first food distributor in Michigan to sign Migrant Legal Aid’s Fair Food Pledge, affirming the company’s commitment to fair labor practices for the state’s more than 94,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families.
The Fair Food Pledge exemplifies SpartanNash’s commitment to corporate responsibility, including the fair treatment of farmworkers.
The company is the fifth largest food distributor in the United States. SpartanNash distributes fresh produce from 250 Michigan farms to its 160 corporate-owned stores and 2,100 independent customers.
“At SpartanNash, we are committed to the well-being of our communities, customers and associates – and we strive to run our business with integrity and accountability,” said Larry Pierce, SpartanNash executive vice president of merchandising and marketing. “Our customers purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at our stores every day, and we want them to know that our company is committed to providing them with produce that has been harvested under safe and equitable working conditions.”
By signing the Michigan Fair Food Pledge, SpartanNash pledges to work in partnership with Migrant Legal Aid when Michigan produce suppliers appear to be in violation of regulations requiring fair treatment and safe working conditions. This includes respecting the dignity of workers, treating them with fairness and equity and providing fair wages, access to bathrooms and drinking water and safe, clean housing.
“Migrant workers provide fresh produce for our tables, but they lack the protections and safeguards other workers enjoy under state and federal laws,” said Teresa Hendricks, director and senior litigator for the Michigan Migrant Legal Aid. “With the new alliance between Migrant Legal Aid and SpartanNash, more than 94,000 workers and family members will be better protected from inhumane and unethical treatment. This alliance is the first of its kind in Michigan, and was only possible because of the corporate leadership and compassion of SpartanNash. I’m ecstatic that SpartanNash cares how its products get to market and has the integrity to stand behind them with this Fair Food Pledge.”
Michigan is the second-most agriculturally diverse state after California. Forty-five Michigan crops are hand harvested by migrant and seasonal farmworkers each year, including blueberries, tart cherries, apples and cucumbers.
For more information about SpartanNash’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit SpartanNash.com/corp-responsibility.
SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) is a Fortune 400 company and the leading food distributor serving U.S. military commissaries and exchanges in the world, in terms of revenue. The Company’s core businesses include distributing food to military commissaries and exchanges and independent and corporate-owned retail stores located in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 160 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, Econofoods and SunMart.
About Migrant Legal Aid
In 1973, migrant workers and their families had no voice to stand up for their right to safe housing and working conditions or their right to earn a fair wage. They struggled to maintain basic human dignity, from lack of bathroom facilities, dangers posed by pesticides and discrimination. Because of their poverty, their transitory lifestyle and their language difficulties, they faced barriers to civil legal services. Out of this need, the legal community in Michigan formed Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance Project, also known as Migrant Legal Aid, a non-profit agency.