Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kroger Makes Move to BPA-Free Cans

In another example of how public demand can influence corporate policy, Kroger, the nation's second-largest grocery store chain (after Walmart) announced in May that it is moving toward Bisphenol A (BPA)-free cans in its house-brand canned products:
"Kroger recognizes that Bisphenol A (BPA) is perceived as a chemical of concern by some customers.

"Kroger has begun a process that we believe will result in the removal of BPA in the linings of canned goods in all of our corporate brand items. We recognize that this transition will take time as our suppliers and manufacturers are still researching and testing feasible alternatives. This is a priority for our Company and we are moving forward with the transition as quickly as possible."
Some organic food companies have been using BPA-free cans for years, but when Kroger, which operates almost 2,500 supermarkets in 31 states, joins the parade, its actions will cascade throughout the food industry.

The suppliers and manufacturers now have a mandate to mass-produce BPA-free cans. When that process becomes standardized, it's a good bet that other retailers will order the cans as well. The new default will be BPA-free cans.

Using this model, we should think about the public's power to force change. Wouldn't it be great if the default chicken in our supermarkets was free of antibiotics? Wouldn't it seem logical that our school playgrounds and ball fields were not sprayed with poisonous pesticides?

Need another example of a company listening? Pepperidge Farm moved away from artificial colors in colored goldfish last year because of consumer preference.

We have power; we shouldn't be defeatist and think our purchasing decisions and voiced opinions don't lead to change.

No comments: