A study by Stanford University found that a sustainability program enacted by a major supermarket chain in South Africa did, in fact, drive increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level. Researchers wanted to evaluate whether company-led programs were effective drivers of change or mere greenwashing. In this instance, they found that with Woolworths' Farming for the Future program, the company's large-scale fruit, vegetable, and flower growers use more environmental management practices when compared both over time and with a random sample of farms certified by the food industry's global environmental standard for farm management. "If indeed these company-led policies are effective and able to transform their entire supply chains, then they can potentially transform land-use practices worldwide and have a very positive impact on the environment," concluded study co-author Eric Lambin.
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