Seven privately-owned, independent grocery stores in New Hampshire and Vermont have enrolled in Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC) sustainability program.
All of the stores are members of the Associated Grocers of New England, a retailer-owned cooperative and distribution center headquartered in Pembroke, New Hampshire. Newly enrolled stores include three Harvest Market stores in Bedford, Hollis, and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, two Sully’s Superette stores in Goffstown and Allenstown, New Hampshire, and two Vista Foods stores in Laconia, New Hampshire, and Newport, Vermont.
The GSC is the first and only grocery sustainability certification in the country. The program helps grocers address sustainability metrics like water use, energy consumption, carbon emissions, food waste, and other related measures. GSC program staff visited each of the stores, graded their sustainability practices using a point-based workbook, and will work with store management to review and improve sustainability scores over time.
“Many small, independent grocers care about operating more sustainably,” said GSC Program Manager Peter Cooke. “The GSC provides independent grocers and large grocery chains alike with the tools and resources to address the sustainable practices in place at their stores, identify areas for improvement, and make measurable changes over time.”
A pilot version of the GSC was launched in 2012 with Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets, and the program was opened up to all companies late last year.
Associated Grocers of New England (AGNE) is a regional cooperative of independent retail grocers that serves stores in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, and upstate New York. Learn more about the AGNE at http://www.agne.com/.
To learn more about the Grocery Stewardship Certification or to find a certified store near you, visit www.grocerycert.org.
– Haley Jordan