Walmart Announces Responsible Purchase Policy For Fishes and Traceability Program For Perishable Products

São Paulo, August 11, 2010 – The president of Walmart Brazil, Héctor Núñez, announced today, in an event with the Minister of Fishery and Aquiculture, Altemir Gregolin, commitments for the sustainable development of fishery and aquiculture in Brazil and increase of supply in the retailer’s stores of artisan fishes and also from the Amazon. The company also launched a traceability program for perishable products in general, mainly for meat, produce and poultry.

The commitments for the fishing industry include: the identification of source and location of production of 100% of the retailer’s fish suppliers (until 2013); increased supply and incentive to consumption of fish from the Amazonian region; the development of an artisanal fishery appreciation program that secures direct access of these producers to the large retail market (until 2013); and the implementation of a traceability system for 100% of the network of fishes produced or exploited in the Brazilian territory (until 2016), among others. These new rules are the result of discussions with different publics that form the fishery network, such as authorities, experts, suppliers and NGOs.

“We are engaged in building a more sustainable fishery network, seeking initiatives that mobilize companies in the industry, government and the society”, stated Héctor Núñez, president of Walmart Brazil.

The fishery network is one of the most important of the economy sector, moving and encouraging the development of communities and products in the entire national territory. A total of more than 800,000 people are involved, with great development potential. Brazilian production is of nearly 1.1 million tons per year. One estimates, however, that the national potential reaches 1.4 million tons per year until 2011, provided it is exploited through strict management.

TRACEABILITY – Walmart also announced today the “Selected Quality, Guaranteed Origin” program, which allows clients to follow up on all the process, on the company’s website, of the productive chain of agricultural items by means of a bar code available on the packages. In an easy way, consumers are going to know exactly the location and the path that the products followed until they reached their tables.

The first product launched in this platform is the private label meat “Campeiro”, with six different cuts. “Due to all the challenges in cattle raising related to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, meat is the first item in this program, which starts with the intent to monitor our produce products, which will probably happen by the end of this year", Héctor added.

Meats will be initially commercialized at the stores in São Paulo, reaching all the other States by mid September. The traceability program is another step towards sustainability in the Amazon region, one of the targets established by the company in 2009 in the "Sustainability Pact”, jointly signed by its main suppliers.

The involvement of commercial partners in the design of more sustainable processes and products is part of Walmart’s strategy to build a chain of more sustainable supplies, incorporating stricter environmental and social practices in the retailer’s business plan with its suppliers, as well as constant measuring of the previously defined indexes.

To be able to follow how the suppliers advance in their commitment to the “Sustainability Pact”, the company has also developed an online system to monitor the socio-environmental indexes, which range from greenhouse effect gas emissions inventories to the commercialization of products connected to the illegal deforestation of the Amazon region or the signing of the Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor, of the Ministry of Labor. By 2011, 100% of the supply chain will report its progress related to the jointly undertaken targets.

Furthermore, the company launched at the beginning of this year the “End to End Sustainability” program, in which 10 of its main suppliers analyzed the lifecycle of leading products in the market and developed more sustainable processes. For 2011, the retailer has already started the second phase of the program, with another 15 suppliers, which are now revising the lifecycle of their products.