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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. here has been recognized as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Magazine, a national publication that explores the correlation between ethics and profit.
"This list...recognizes the importance of values," said Wegmans c.e.o. Danny Wegman in a statement. "Caring, respect, empowerment, high standards, and making a difference in the community are values that we try to live every day at Wegmans."
The publication's editors selected 92 companies from several thousand organizations analyzed over a six-month period. "This was a rigorous process that identified a select group of companies that were unequalled in their industries for their commitment to ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility," noted Ethisphere Magazine executive editor Alex Brigham.
The selection process included reviewing companies' codes of ethics, litigation, and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating their investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at companies' activities to enhance corporate citizenship; considering nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers, and customers; and working with consumer action groups for feedback and rating.
The complete list is available at www.ethisphere.com.
In other Wegmans news, v.p. of consumer affairs Mary Ellen Burris wrote in her online column about how the retailer is honing its food safety strategies. For one thing, according to Burris, Danny Wegman is heading up a new committee devoted to food safety at the Food Marketing Institute.
Produce ops head Dave Corsi, who helped start a buyers' coalition which sent letters last year to grower associations and suppliers, asking for a plan of action, "is also on the executive board of the Produce Marketing Association, which developed the new Center for Produce Safety at the University of California, Davis campus," added Burris. "It will be a clearinghouse for research related to produce safety, and will fund new scientific studies for better solutions. Dave is on its advisory board."
Additionally, according to Burris, "Bill Pool, our manager of agricultural research and production, and our food safety/quality assurance staff, work on committees developing standards and measurement."
Further, Burris said that Wegmans has informed its suppliers of seasonal, locally grown produce delivered direct to stores that, starting with the 2008 season, it will require food safety and Good Agricultural Practices audits. The grocer already requires third-party food safety audits for lettuce and leafy greens, tomatoes, netted melons, and herbs and green onions coming into its distribution center.
Family-owned Wegmans operates 70 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.