Sunday, February 28, 2010

Leading the way-Wegmans

I am writing after a long gap. I was caught in the flow of events that relates to a move. I moved from New Jersey to India. Just before leaving I went to Wegman’s in Woodbridge to get a jar of organic peanut butter (store brand).

Wegmans used to be and is still is my most favored supermarket in Woodbridge. And the reasons for it being my favorite is much more than just what is available in the store. It has a commitment towards sustainability and towards the local Woodbridge Community. I used my last visit to speak with Ashley Aspres who showcased Wegmans’ commitment towards sustainability.

Wegmans has a line of great organic products which are:

1. Free from pesticides and fertilizers

2. No artificial ingredients

3. No hormones and antibiotics.

Wegmans sources its products from New Jersey and nearby areas thereby supporting local farmers. Check out their Jersey fresh fruits and vegetables. Check out their locally sourced orchids.

One visit to the seafood section shows their commitment to sustainable fish farming. What is special about their shrimps? or all the seafood at Wegmans?

“We encourage suppliers to adopt farming standards that reduce the negative impacts on local wildlife and ecosystems and minimize or eliminate the use of wild fish in the feed, pesticides, and antibiotics.
When appropriate, we work with organizations (such as the Environmental Defense Fund) that specialize in understanding the intricate challenges surrounding farm-raised seafood.”

“We will only work with wild-caught seafood suppliers that have been certified (such as by the Marine Stewardship Council) to acquire seafood that is caught responsibly and prevents the depletion of natural resources. If we find that a better alternative is not available, that item will be removed from our selection.”

Wegmans has put in tremendous amount of effort to rethink about what it is offering to its customers. Its caring attitude towards environment and its customers is endearing.

Wegmans started selling reusable plastic bags since 2007. One reusable bag eliminates the use of several plastic bag. Wegmans also accepts used plastic bags which can be recycled into other plastic products. It has tied up with the Woodbridge township waste management department to enhance its waste management program.

I feel happy to see their efforts. In future, Wegmans will use their commitment towards environment to further influence their supply chain to embrace sustainable practices.

I hope in future Wegmans would introduce many more initiatives which are environmentally friendly. At Wegmans they are always “all ears” to suggestions from its customers. Ask for drop offs for plastic fives(Gimme5). Ask for reduction in packaging. Check out their sustainability page at and happy shopping.


Jason Wadworth (Sustainability Coordinator at Wegmans)

John Cortina (Service Manager at Woodbridge)

Ashley Aspres for showcasing Wegmans sustainability efforts and walking me through the stores showing their different product lines.