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Sysco's Watson Says "Sustainability is Not a Zero Sum Gain."

MARINA, CA (Oct. 16)—Craig Watson, vice president of quality assurance and agricultural sustainability for Sysco Corp., Houston, discussed his company's policies for ethical sourcing and sustainable agriculture as part of a panel hosted this week by the Salinas, California-based Grower-Shipper Association Foundation and the Central Coast Ag Task Force.

According to a report in The Packer, a produce industry trade paper, Watson said Sysco now has policies for ethical sourcing, sustainable agricultural practices, reducing waste through its supply chain, and has agreements with dozens of suppliers to follow measurable rules for reducing their own waste.

"Sustainability is not a zero sum gain," he said. Some of Sysco's newest initiatives for ethical and sustainability sourcing, according to The Packer's report, include working with small growers in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic on purchasing produce for distribution among Sysco's customers in North America. Lifting small growers out of poverty, Watson said, has a lot do with market access and getting their goods into countries like the United States, where consumers will pay prices that generate enough profits for small growers to improve sanitary conditions in their villages.

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