Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets participated in a roundtable presentation focused on farmworker safety and well-being May 10-11 at the Dairy Sustainability Alliance spring meeting in Chicago, Illinois.
Hannaford was represented by Leigh Chase, director of center store merchandising, and George Parmenter, the brand’s lead for sustainability and health, who spoke about Hannaford’s collaboration with dairy farmers and industry partners to implement the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management Workforce Development Evaluation Tool, a program to support farmers in building safe work environments.
The FARM Workforce Development Evaluation Tool assesses workplace practices on dairy farms with a focus on developing sustainable processes that promote human resources and safety best practices. Topics covered include recruitment and hiring; compensation and benefits; working conditions; housing; and safety training. The second-party tool has assessed more than 70 farms across four states representing four times the annual volume of Hannaford’s milk supply to date.
“Hannaford is committed to ensuring that the products we sell are responsibly sourced from suppliers and farms that treat their workers fairly and humanely,” Chase said.
“We believe our biggest, longest-lasting impact comes from independent assurance and resources such as the FARM Workforce Development Evaluation Tool, which supports dairy managers in creating a positive workplace culture with industry-best practices.”
During the panel, Hannaford was joined by representatives from HP Hood, Dairy Farmers of America and an Agri-Mark farmer-owner to explore how the partnership was formed and its impact to date. The speakers also discussed how the assessment has helped identify areas where additional education, training and resources can support further advancement in farm safety and human resources practices.
“We applaud dairy farmers for having this program and for their commitment to sustainable production. Partnerships and collaborations such as this one help us all advance human rights commitments across our supply chains,” Parmenter said.
“Hannaford has seen this model succeed and led this kind of work across a range of industry and supply-chain sectors in the past, including seafood.”
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s Dairy Sustainability Alliance is a multi-stakeholder group consisting of companies and organizations from across the dairy community and others who contribute to dairy’s social responsibility journey. Dairy Sustainability Alliance members share knowledge; collaborate on issues affecting the industry; accelerate progress toward common sustainability goals; and contribute to the long-term viability of the U.S. dairy industry.
For more information about the Dairy Sustainability Alliance, visit usdairy.com/about-us/innovation-center/sustainability-alliance.