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Walmart de México y Centroamérica Leads in Commitment to Food Safety

BENTONVILLE, Ark. January 9, 2015 Walmart de México y Centroamérica is committed to providing the highest quality food to its customers, which is why the company recently completed the Food SafetySystem Certification or FSSC 22000 requirementsfor all 16 of its food processing facilities in Central America. The FSSC 22000 is internationally recognized by the GlobalFood Safety Initiative or GFSI, which is the gold standard for food safety certifications.

By undergoing this rigorous certification process, it
demonstrates Walmart’s commitment to quality processes and continual improvement for its privately-owned facilities. Bernardo Marin,  assistant director of enforcement for food security and responsible supply for Walmart in Central America, said, “We have asked that our suppliers achieve this certification, so we also wanted to obtain it for our Walmart-owned plants. Not only does this set a good example and strengthen supplier partnerships, but it was important for us to do it for the customer.  We wanted to support the hard work of our associates and the quality of our products that we have been offering in stores for years. Obtaining this certification now verifies that.”

Walmart is the first Central American retailer with vertically integrated manufacturing to achieve FSSC certification. Fons Schmid, chairman of the Board of Stakeholders FSSC 22000, said, “FSSC 22000 admires the leadership that Walmart has taken over the last 10 years in driving GFSI-based food safety certification in supply chains all over the world. With the recent successful FSSC 22000 certification of its own 16 production facilities in Middle America Walmart clearly demonstrates the value of extending  GFSI-based food safety management system certification in directly controlled food supply chain, to the benefit of its millions of daily customers.”

The certification also has added benefits other than the main focus of increasing food safety. Marin said, “Through the certification process, we were able to find and take advantage of efficiencies in our factories, reduce the amount of food waste and have an overall better trained staff.”

According to the Foundation for Food Safety Certification, it generally takes six to nine months for a facility to receive certification. “Accomplishing certification in all 16 plants that we operate in Central America in less than a year is something we are very proud of”, said Vice President of Food Safety at Walmart, Frank Yiannas. “The collaboration, hard work and support of everyone involved on the Central America team shows their conviction to the company’s promise of providing safe and affordablefood to all of our customers and associates.”

The FSSC 22000 certification is valid for three years, but certified companies must undergo an annual surveillance audit to maintain certification.

Walmart de México y Centroamérica is a company of the retail sector whose vision is contributing towards improving the quality of life for families in Mexico and Central America. It serves 5 million customers in six countries where it operates: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. It has a wide array of business formats including discount self-service stores (Bodega Aurrera Express, Despensa Familiar and Pali), supermarkets (Superama, Supertienda Paíz, La Despensa de Don Juan, La Unión and Masxmenos), bodegas (Bodega Aurrera, Mi Bodega Aurrera and Maxi Bodega), hypermarts (Walmart), membership warehouse clubs (Sam’s Club and ClubCo), apparel stores (Suburbia) and restaurants (Vips, El Portón and Ragazzi) that amounted 2,989 units at January 7, 2013. In 2012, Walmart de México y Centroamérica reported sales over 413 billion pesos http://www.walmartmexicoycam.com

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