Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 APEC: Walmart Touts Let's Move! Partnership, Local Farm Sourcing

White House-Walmart partnership is "delivering results," says CEO...
Global grocery giant Walmart, First Lady Michelle Obama's largest private sector partner for the Let's Move! campaign, put out a press release from the APEC summit in Honolulu, touting its partnership with the White House. CEO Scott Price attended the APEC CEO Summit, and the press release highlights two of the commitments Walmart has made to the Let's Move! campaign: Sourcing from local farmers and dropping prices for healthier foods. Price notes the two initiatives in the press release. (Above: Mrs. Obama toured an organic farm during her visit to Hawaii)

"In the U.S., in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' campaign, Walmart efforts to make food healthier and healthier food more affordable are delivering results," Price said. "It will save customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables."

"Walmart's Direct Farm program procures directly from over 800,000 farmers, offering higher incomes for farmers and lower prices for customers," noted the release.

Mrs. Obama spotlighted Let's Move! and local sourcing during her visit to Hawaii, with a tour of MA'O Organic Farms, and a farm-to-table luncheon for APEC Leaders' spouses at Kualoa Ranch.

Walmart's drop in prices for consumers due to its Let's Move! commitment has not yet been tracked. The company has also pledged to build 275-300 stores in food deserts by 2016, to help Mrs. Obama reach the Let's Move! goal of eradicating all US food deserts by 2017.

The full press release:

HONOLULU, Nov. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Walmart Asia CEO Scott Price today reiterated Walmart's focus on contributing to the communities in which the Company does business in APEC economies. Price made the comments during the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit held in Honolulu, USA, Nov 11-14, 2011.

Price said, "Walmart is a strong contributor globally to the communities in which we operate and this is especially true in APEC economies. These include great examples in the U.S., China, Japan, Mexico and Chile. In the U.S., we announced a $2 billion commitment through 2015 to help end hunger in America. In China, we are working closely with the China Women's Development Foundation (CWDF) on poverty alleviation for women. Walmart's Direct Farm program procures directly from over 800,000 farmers, offering higher incomes for farmers and lower prices for customers."

Price continued, "In Japan we are committed to helping with the recovery efforts of the earthquake-affected region. We've committed well over $5 million to these efforts. We have just announced two new programs. One, in partnership with Save the Children to get children back into school, and the other with Mercy Corps to support women engaged in the harvesting of Wakame seaweed. We were also very active after the earthquake in Chile through a $1.9 million donation to provide emergency housing in different regions as well as to rebuild small businesses. In Canada, Walmart donated over CA$8 million as a key sponsor of the Children's Miracle Network that raises funds for children's hospitals across Canada. Finally, in Mexico, our Indigenous Product Commercialization Program, which offers training and funding to boost production processes of marginalized communities and indigenous groups living in isolated regions to improve their income and quality of life, was recognized by the United Nations Development Programme with its World Business and Development Award."

According to Price, these programs and their impact were possible only because of the collaboration between governments, the private sector and social sector.

"In most instances, high impact is possible because there is a strong alignment between the priorities of that government and the private sector. Both the U.S. and China have strong examples of this. In China, we have really benefitted from working closely with the China Women's Development Foundation (CWDF) on a key national priority – poverty alleviation of women," Price said. "The program is now in full execution and is making a big difference in the three pilot provinces in which we are working. In the U.S., in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' campaign, Walmart efforts to make food healthier and healthier food more affordable are delivering results. It will save customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables."

"We want to be a part of the solution to a better life for the communities in which we operate. We want to work with governments and the social sector to ensure that," concluded Price.

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*Pool photo