Store Brands

APR 2016

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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4 0 Store Brands / April 2016 / Special Report: Responsible Sourcing Communicate clearly Retailers could look to third-party certifications as a way of communicating their social responsibility initiatives. Such certifications include areas such as organic, non-GMO Project Verified and Fair Trade USA certified. These certifications cover the main two components of responsible sourcing: social and/or environmental, explains Randy Markle, vice president of sales and manufacturing, Natural Nectar. Other major certifications include Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council. For animals, common certifications include American Grassfed Certified beef and Certified Humane meat and cage-free eggs. The Global Animal Partnership is a five-step rating certification that gives producers the option to qualify at different levels, and the Animal Welfare Approved certification is a pasture-based program, Neitzel says. A newer certification that is rapidly gaining ground is Safe Quality Food (SQF) Ethical Sourcing certification. This certification ensures that food suppliers comply with certain social and environmental requirements in the food industry, including wage compliance, restrictions on child labor, occupational health and safety, pollution prevention, air emissions management and wage management, the Arlington, Va.-based SQF Institute says. Musco Family Olive Co. recently became the first company to achieve SQF Ethical Sourcing Level 2 certification. "All food manufacturing facilities are required to attain some level of food safety certification, and this same model needs to be applied to responsible sourcing," Kelly says. "In doing this, the food industry can make major progress on major issues globally and as a whole, versus the current model of voluntary ethical sourcing." Besides certifications, retailers should look to packaging to communicate their environmental sustainability initiatives. According to Dave Lockwood, vice president of sales for Morganton, N.C.-based Ice River Springs Water Co., packaging is the No. 1 thing consumers look at both at home and in stores. He gives the example of Weis Markets Inc., Sunbury, Pa., which uses a significant portion of its bottle labels to explain to consumers the bottles are made from 100 percent recycled PET and why this is beneficial for the environment. SB U.S. Alliance Paper's research shows that while nearly 80% of American consumers are concerned with "green purchasing", they are not willing to sacrifce quality, nor are they necessarily willing to pay more. This trend in sustainable products, especially in the household paper category, offers a signifcant opportunity for both the company and its retail partners. "We strive to provide our retail partners the highest quality private label paper products at an attractive price point relative to national brands," says Steve Saraf, Vice President of Sales. "And our focus on sustainable practices and products does not change that calculation. Rather, it creates a win-win for our retailers, their consumers, and our organization in that together we are making better choices for the environment." Recently, the Forest Stewardship CouncilĀ®(FSCĀ®) certifed U.S. Alliance Paper. "Consumers are looking on the package for evidence and certifcation that material sourcing and manufacturing are best practice," says Steve Saraf. "Virgin fber, desirable for its quality and strength, constitutes the bulk of our raw material purchases. With FSC certifcation, we are now able to ensure that we source from suppliers who adhere to responsible forest management principles, and are able to offer a comprehensive range of paper grades and quality tiers without negatively impacting the environment." U.S. Alliance Paper also manufactures a line of napkins, kitchen towels and bath tissues that are manufactured from 100% recycled paper. Its Earth First products contain a minimum of 80% post-consumer content, which would otherwise end up in landflls, and are whitened without using chlorine bleach, exceeding all EPA guidelines. U.S. Alliance Paper proactively tracks consumer demand and trends in different markets, and works with its retail partners to plan accordingly. "Combining our research with their store data, we help develop the right mix and balance of price point, paper grade, sheet count, packaging and display confguration for their consumer," adds John Sarraf, President. "It's about sustainability as well as fexibility. We are able to manufacture the exact product spec they need, and deliver it when and where they want." A D V E R T O R I A L U.S. Alliance Paper Focuses On Sustainability

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