Perhaps unknown to some, a large number of products in grocery retail contain wood fibers. Ahold Delhaize brands use wood fiber in the form of pulp and paper for products like toilet paper, kitchen paper, or paper plates, and in cardboard packaging. The wood fiber used in our products comes from either natural forests or pulpwood plantations. Both face sustainability challenges. Illegal logging of natural forests can result in forest and habitat loss, but also in major economic losses for production countries and communities.
Creating products from sustainable wood fiber is possible. It means paying attention to the source, and making sure the wood used, comes from well-managed farms. Farms that have been built on already used or degraded lands so no forest had to be cut. Well managed plantations also have higher yields and help conserve biodiversity.
Ahold Delhaize brands apply a three-pronged approach towards wood fiber, whereby the product or packaging, must be either ‘certified’, ‘low risk’, or ‘recycled’. A number of our brands have already started programs. At Delhaize, our Belgian and Luxembourg brand, half of the own brand products containing wood fiber pulp come from a sustainable source, and they are working hard on improving the second half. Delhaize’s own brand diapers have made the switch to 100% sustainable materials, made from PEFC certified wood fiber coming from the USA. Our next step is to improve packaging containing wood fiber, like the cardboard of a box of cereals for example.