Sysco: Take economic integrity seriously

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
September 13, 2011

Sysco Corp., North America’s largest foodservice distributor, is reminding its seafood suppliers of its commitment to food safety, product quality and economic integrity.

In a 23 August letter addressed to its various seafood suppliers, a copy of which was obtained by SeafoodSource on Tuesday, the Houston-based company affirmed that it is “absolutely imperative … that all products sold to Sysco must be safe, wholesome, truthfully labeled and bear the true net weight of the product.”

In emphasizing economic integrity, Sysco said in the letter that it will not tolerate misbranding by its suppliers. “Seafood misbranding misleads the foodservice customer and, because it is against the law, can lead to regulatory action and civil lawsuits,” said the letter. “It has always been Sysco’s priority to provide our customers with safe, wholesome, high quality products while ensuring full compliance with all applicable laws regarding the purchase and distribution of those products.”

Sysco then warned that it will take “immediate action” against suppliers that engage in misbranding, including, if necessary, termination of a company’s status as an approved supplier.

The letter was signed by James “Butch” Vidrine, senior director of seafood; Neil Theiss, VP of merchandising and sourcing; and Mark Mignogna, VP of quality assurance.

Sysco, which has annual sales in excess of USD 37 billion, is no stranger to promoting economic integrity when it comes to seafood. In recent years, the foodservice distributor has repeated that it will not tolerate short weighting, species substitution and other forms of economic fraud. Vidrine was one of four panelists who participated in a seminar at the 2009 International Boston Seafood Show titled “What High Profile Buyers Want.” Much of the discussion centered on economic integrity.

For more on the subject of economic integrity, check out the Top Story of the July 2009 issue of Seafood Business magazine titled “Sold short.”

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