UFCW Joins BlueGreen Alliance

Citing the need to grow a supply chain that protects public health, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and ensures good jobs, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) joined the BlueGreen Alliance

Greening the Retail Supply Chain and Creating Safe, Sustainable Agriculture is Central Focus for Food and Commercial Workers in Labor-Environmental Partnership

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 13, 2011) Citing the need to grow a supply chain that protects public health, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and ensures good jobs, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) today announced that the union – whose 1.3 million members work in the retail food, meatpacking and poultry, food processing and manufacturing, and retail industries – would join the BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations working to expand the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.

“From farm to dinner table, we must have a food supply chain that benefits consumers, improves public health, improves the environment, and creates good jobs at living wages,” said UFCW International President Joseph T. Hansen. “The BlueGreen Alliance is leading the way to a green economy, and UFCW is proud to be on board.”

“We are pleased to welcome the UFCW to the ranks of union members and environmentalists working to build a green economy and create good jobs,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster. “We cannot build this green economy – one that creates good jobs and protects public health – without creating a stronger, greener food and retail supply chain, and we are excited to get to work with the UFCW to make it happen.”

The 1.3-million member UFCW has long supported strong food safety and nutrition policy and is committed to ensuring that our nation’s food and retail supply chain is safe and sustainable – from the factory to the warehouse to the store – and to holding suppliers accountable for their efforts to green up their supply chain.

“Supporting the development of a greener supply chain is an important factor in protecting the health and safety of American consumers and the quality of life for workers,” said Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen. “We also have to work together to ensure the jobs created and supported are good, family supporting union jobs. We are pleased that the UFCW has joined this unique partnership in our effort to build a truly green economy.”

“Creating a sustainable food supply will protect the environment while providing healthy safe food for all Americans,” said Peter Lehner, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “With the UFCW joining the BlueGreen Alliance, our on-going effort to green America’s supply chain and create good, clean, and safe jobs is a million members stronger today.”

The BlueGreen Alliance was launched by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club in 2006, and has since expanded to include the Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Service Employees International Union, National Wildlife Federation, Laborers’ International Union of North America, Union of Concerned Scientists, Utility Workers Union of America, American Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union, Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, United Auto Workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers – all dedicated to creating good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy.

“The effort to create good, green jobs reaches every corner of our economy – from investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency to building more efficient vehicles to ensuring a safe, sustainable food supply,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “The health and safety of workers, our public health and the health of our communities depend on our ability to build a prosperous green economy in the United States.”

“We can only protect the planet for the next generation if we make our economy cleaner and more sustainable, and a key part of that accomplishment will be greening our food and retail supply chain,” said Carl Pope, Chairman of the Sierra Club and a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “From the field to the grocery store, from the factory to retail, ensuring that the products we buy are sustainable will protect the environment and create good jobs, plain and simple.”