About Our Supply Chain

Farmers, processors and distributors in 40 countries provide Sysco's food products including meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy, vegetable and nut oils, fruit and vegetables, as well as nonfood items such as kitchen equipment and smallwares, disposables and cleaning supplies. Our suppliers, in turn, rely on their own supply chains of farmers, cooperatives, processors and distributors.

OUR APPROACH

We expect all Sysco suppliers to meet the high standards set out in our Supplier Code of Conduct, which covers human rights, health and safety and environmental standards.

All our suppliers of Sysco Brand fresh, ready-to-eat, produce are required to comply with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), a voluntary program administered by the FDA that aims to continually improve food quality, safety and traceability. In July 2007, we extended our GAP requirements to include all fresh, ready-to-eat produce distributed through our operating companies, regardless of brand or label. In 2014, the Sysco GAP program was further enhanced to include Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) audits of all packing sheds, cooling facilities and repacking houses which supply fresh produce to our Operating Companies. For more information, see Food Safety.

To ensure product quality, integrity and reliability, we demand that suppliers of Sysco Brand goods meet the highest standards of accountability with their social, agricultural and animal welfare practices. We require animal welfare and quality assurance audits and conduct follow-up audits to ensure improvement plans are implemented. We also require third-party assessments for suppliers in high-risk Latin American and Asian countries to identify potential risks relating to wages, working hours, discrimination, worker safety, living conditions and child and forced labor.

SUPPLIER DIVERSITY

We partner with more than 500 minority- and women-owned suppliers who help us meet the demands of our customers, support our efforts to increase the variety of products we offer, and provide access to new and specialty products.

Sysco is a local member of the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC), a nonprofit organization that connects minority-owned businesses with major corporations committed to increasing their procurement from diverse suppliers. HMSDC programs also strengthen the capabilities of minority-owned businesses through scholarships and mentoring.

In FY2016, we spent $1.1 billion with minority- and women-owned suppliers, compared to $1 billion in FY2015.

Sysco’s Supplier Diversity program is a well-established and mature example of supplier partnerships in practice and we find that our spending with diverse suppliers is trending in relation to the growth rate of the minority population. Minority consumers are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and significantly influence how businesses connect with increasingly diverse customers. Ethnic cuisine is becoming more popular in America with 80 percent of consumers eating at least one ethnic cuisine per month.

These changes in U.S. demographics are similarly impacting our customers, their patrons and menu offerings and as a result of these changes, we are also developing plans to continue to evolve our supplier diversity program to meet the changing needs of the marketplace and our customers.