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Walmart China Awards Outstanding Direct Farm Partners

2010-10-25 09:27 3263

Announces new goal to benefit 2 million Chinese farmers by 2015

SHANGHAI, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Walmart China held an awards ceremony at the U.S. Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo on October 23 to honor outstanding partners in its Direct Farm Program. At the ceremony, Walmart also reaffirmed its latest global commitment to sustainable agriculture and announced a new goal for its China Direct Farm Program, saying it will expand the program by engaging as many as 2 million farm workers and reduce produce waste by 15 percent by the end of 2015, as well as upgrade 15 percent of Direct Farm products from Green to Organic certified.


On October 23, Walmart China held an awards ceremony at the U.S. Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo to honor outstanding partners in its Direct Farm Program.


Ed Chan, president and CEO of Walmart China (first from left) presented the Direct Farm Best Partner City to Dalian city government representative Sun Guangtian, Vice Mayor of Dalian (middle) and Tang Fangdong, Director of Dalian Municipal Rural Economy Committee (first from right).


Ed Chan, president and CEO of Walmart China (second from left) and Yuan Huimin, Deputy Director-General of Department of Rural Economy & Management Administration, Ministry of Agriculture (third from left) witnessed new Direct Farm base signing ceremony on cooperation intention.

On October 14, Walmart unveiled its global goal to support sustainable agriculture. The retailer will buy more from small and mid-sized farmers around the world, reduce food waste, and sustainably source key agricultural products. As a key part of Walmart's global sustainable agriculture commitment, Walmart China's new Direct Farm goal announcement is regarded as a milestone after the 2008 Beijing Direct Farm Forum.

Ed Chan, president and CEO of Walmart China, announced the new goal for Walmart China's sustainable agriculture, "Walmart China's Direct Farm program will benefit 2 million farmers and upgrade 15 percent of Direct Farm products from Green to Organic certified by the end of 2015. By then, the program will increase farmers' income by 20 percent compared with 2009 and reduce produce waste by 15 percent."

He added, "The three issues associated with agriculture have always been a major factor in China's economic development. As a multinational corporation with a strong sense of local social responsibility, we have helped farmers to better adapt to market conditions, encouraged them to choose standardized and scaled production methods, and provided instructions on ways to preserve the environment in production activities via sustainable agriculture program. These initiatives have not only advanced the optimization of the industrial supply chain and improved food safety, but they have also raised farmers' incomes and benefited customers by providing them with fresh quality products at low prices."

The farmers and farm partners awarded by Walmart made outstanding achievements in the Direct Farm program in terms of operation and management, technical training, and benefits brought to the local participants. Awards given included: Best Cooperation on Operations, Best Practice in Walmart's Direct Farm Training, Best Practices of Benefiting Farmers and Best Demonstrative Base.

More than 100 people including Ed Chan and Walmart China's management team; Yuan Huimin, Deputy Director-General of Department of Rural Economy & Management Administration, Ministry of Agriculture; Beatrice Camp, U.S. Consul General in Shanghai; Jose Villarreal, Director of the US Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo; key government officials from Direct Farm program cooperative cities of Shanghai, Dalian and Haicheng; and representatives of outstanding agricultural partners from various provinces and cities attended the awards ceremony.

Walmart China started the Direct Farm program in 2007. In October, 2009, the company signed two MOUs with the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) at the Beijing Direct Farm Forum. By October 19, 2010, Walmart China had set up 56 direct purchase bases in 18 provinces and cities, spanning a total space of about 82,000 acres and benefiting 630,000 farmers. Through partnerships with agricultural cooperatives in China, Walmart provides ecological education to preserve the surrounding environmental resources, including the sustainable use of farming equipment, soil, seed stock, and initial processing, thereby lowering energy consumption and producing more environmentally-friendly products.

On this occasion, Walmart China held a special Direct Farm base signing ceremony marking Walmart's 57th and 58th bases in China. These two are located in Dalian and Shanghai respectively. The former is an aquatic product base that will benefit 20,000 fishermen, while the latter is a vegetable base that will benefit 3,800 farmers.

Yuan Huimin from Ministry of Agriculture, said, "The Direct Farm program is a significant initiative, as it strengthens distribution, improves product quality and raises farmers' incomes. Walmart's consistent efforts in the program in recent years help build up the Direct Farm information exchange and experience sharing platform and Walmart plays a key role in promoting the program. We hope more farmers, cooperatives and retailers will join in the program, bring more innovation and further expand the program."

One of the award winners, Pei Wanni, is a new generation farmer who graduated from university last year. She said, "Since I joined the Direct Farm program, Walmart has organized a number of training sessions carried out by agricultural experts. The cherry growing base has now expanded to an area of over 494 acres, bringing a sales revenue of RMB 20 million. By growing organic cherries, we have not only won the trust and approval of Walmart customers, but also achieved a lower carbon, more sustainable economic situation in the rural areas of Dalian."

Walmart is committed to incorporating sustainability throughout its global supply chain and daily operations. The Company is committed to three major goals: to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell products that sustain the world's resources and the environment. Walmart's sustainability initiatives in China are aligned with the Chinese government's environmental, social and energy objectives.

Walmart in China

Walmart entered the China market and opened its first store in Shenzhen in 1996. Walmart's Global Sourcing business has been headquartered in Shenzhen since 2002. Currently Walmart operates a number of store formats in China including Supercenters, Sam's Clubs, and Neighborhood Markets Over the past 14 years Walmart has donated funds and in-kind support worth more than RMB60 million to local charity and welfare organizations, and has won awards such as "Best Employer", "Best Community Involvement", "Supplier Satisfaction Recognition" and "Most Admired Company". For more information about Walmart in China, please visit www.walmartchina.com

Source: Walmart China
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