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Musco Olives Awarded World First Ethical Standard

27th October 2015 Paul Andrews

Family firms and leading branded retail supplier of table olives in America gains world's first Level II Ethical Sourcing Certification.

Musco Family Olive Co. Ethics & Sustainability Leadership Recognized With World’s First SQF Level II Ethical Sourcing Certification

Musco Family Olive Co., the leading branded supplier of table olives in America, has earned the FMI’s (Food Marketing Institute’s) Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) Level II Ethical Sourcing Standard Certification, becoming the first company in the world to do so. “This is a brand-new, ambitious standard that reaches far beyond simple compliance,” said the family company’s CEO, Felix Musco. “These issues are key to our values and this initiative is one we are particularly proud to have achieved, putting us significantly ahead of the curve,” he added.

SQFI’s Ethical Sourcing standard is a globally accredited certification, available to companies who are committed to ensuring socially and environmentally responsible practices in food production, from farm to fork. Ethical Sourcing Level II is available to companies who demonstrate awareness of these important global issues and are beginning to manage their impact.

It further honours companies that are proactive in their management of social, ethical, and environmental impacts, not only at their facility, but throughout their supply chain as well. Companies striving for a Level II certification also must demonstrate established policies and management systems and benchmarks for performance improvement.

Traditional corporate social and environmental programmes may live in one or two departments but earning the prestigious Level II distinction demands that it be integrated into the entire corporate fabric. Implementation was an enormous team effort, led by Musco’s Michelle Fremming, Ethical Sourcing Practitioner, and Dennis Leikam, Ethical Sourcing Manager. The audit focused heavily on responsible supply chain management, human resource practices, social management programs, employee health and safety, management systems for environmental impacts, and more.

“Consumers are demanding higher ethical standards for the way their food is grown, harvested, and produced. Large retailers are listening to these consumers and beginning to base their purchasing decisions on whether the food is not only safe and of high quality, but sourced ethically and with environmental stewardship in mind,” said Dennis Leikam. 

The team evaluated wage compliance, occupational health and safety, pollution prevention, air emissions, waste management, and more. Certification requires initiative and an ongoing self- evaluation rooted in the principles of continuous improvement - in fact, a company must pursue the certification and apply.

"This Level II certification shows our buyers that Musco is the right partner, actively working to reduce the company’s environmental impact, providing a safe working environment, treating employees fairly, and requiring the same standards throughout our entire supply chain," said Michelle Fremming, Ethical Sourcing Practitioner at Musco.

Musco Family Olive Co., a third-generation privately held family business, is the. The company’s Pearls® and Early California® brands command over 54 percent of the total national branded market share of black ripe olives and use nearly half of the 27,000 acre California olive crop.

Musco Family Olive Co. olives are available in supermarkets nationwide under the Pearls® and Early California® brand names.

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