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customer health & safety

  • We believe safe, fresh food is a human right. We work closely with our vendors and suppliers to source safe, high-quality products and we receive, store, handle, and transport these products in a manner that protects and maintains product safety and integrity. As part of our ever-evolving transparency journey, we’re also educating our customers on the multi-faceted nature of product sustainability.

How is this better for all?

Everyone should be able to make their own individual choices about the food they eat. There are many systemic barriers that make that a challenge, but our scale means we should take action.


    Training our associates and partners on our strict food safety standards means we’re creating more skilled jobs.


    Helping our customers better meet the needs of their communities by providing clear, relevant information about our products and services, and keeping food safe.


    Opening the door to more empowered food choices and more resilient, sustainable cities and communities by educating on the benefits of sustainability and supporting food safety.

Our Approach

On top of our robust food safety practices, our UNFI Professional Services team – in partnership with innovative vendors – is bringing retail business solutions to our customers that offer value-added services to market and address issues like food waste, plastic waste, recycling, workplace safety, and energy consumption.

Our national team and Food Safety & Quality Assurance leaders in each region are responsible for managing food safety practices and making sure all the right checks and balances are in place. They perform internal risk assessments at least once per year to identify any concerns, so that we can quickly remedy any issues, and watch out for gaps in compliance with emerging regulations. 

  • Our associates, however, are at the frontlines of keeping products safe – receiving, storing, handling, and transporting those products in a manner that protects and maintains their safety and integrity. We continue to improve our food safety practices and have the certifications and audit scores to show for it. We pursue leading certifications, including Good Distribution Practices (GDP) and Safe Quality Food (SQF) at all distribution centers, which showcase our sites’ commitment to a culture of food safety and operational excellence in food safety management.

    While our big focus is on safety in our distribution centers, we work closely with our partners to make sure safety isn’t compromised along our value chain. We conduct on-site visits to assess food safety compliance at individual supplier locations – where possible – rely heavily on proper labeling and certifications, including Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and monitor regulatory requirements, product recalls, and issuance of warning letters to help suppliers stay up to speed. We continue to improve our retail locations’ audit scores and connect with our downstream stakeholders to reflect their expectations around product quality and safety.

  • Food safety associate reviewing boxes in warehouse

Thanks in large part to our acquisition of conventional distribution and retail a few years ago, we now serve natural and conventional stores across North America. That said, as part of our ongoing effort to come together as ‘One UNFI’, we’re moving beyond ‘natural’ and ‘conventional’ and getting more specific about the products we offer to customers.

  • We rely on clear and accurate labeling, including, but not limited to, third-party certifications and verified standards, to help us send easy-to-understand messages about the value of the products we’re helping put on shelves. We also work with reputable partners in the industry to provide relevant information to our customers on product sustainability and nutritional value to support their preferences. The better we are at increasing our collective understanding, the more we can do to and can do more to make fresh, nutritious, and affordable food available to communities across North America, and the more value we can deliver to customers. 

  • Two men in greenhouse

From our food scientists to our category management experts, we help our customers get the right products on the shelf and give them the resources to make informed choices. Our UNFI Produce team sends tips to our retail partners for how to best display and sell responsibly-grown products. And, our Category Management team backs it all up with trend analysis and keen insights to help our customers be proud of the products they offer in their communities.

  • UNFI’s portfolio of owned and private-label brands is one of the most comprehensive available today. We offer turn-key products that differentiate retailers and capture consumer attention – from national brand equivalents to opening price points to gourmet, specialty and organic offerings. But, that’s not all. We now have new, innovative ways for retailers and suppliers to connect, and for customers to gain greater access to an ever-expanding list of trending, emerging, and local brands beyond our private-label programs. We also draw connections across our value chain through our displays, tradeshows, and customer connections.


  • A collection of Field Day products displayed on a counter

Recent Progress

We maintain a best-in-class food safety program throughout our wholesale distribution, private-label brands, manufacturing and retail grocery business, and are pleased with our traction of partnering with our customers to carry our values into communities across North America.


Wild Harvest plant based ground beef packaging on table

Nielsen's Clean Label

UNFI now aligns with these more substantial qualifiers and, as a result, we hope to be able to enhance our customer offerings, labeling and resources, better understand our customers’ preferences and habits, and expand our distribution of ‘Clean Label’ products.

Every Moment Matters logo

Every Moment Matters

We launched a company-wide safety brand to foster a caring, grassroots culture – Every Moment Matters – and a ‘Safety Moment’ to use at meetings of ten or more people, which we hope helps to disseminate important reminders, quickly identify hazards, and empower associates to build a grassroots safety culture.

Brown paper grocery bag with Too Good To Go written on it.

Too Good to Go

We’ve solidified our partnership with Too Good to Go and, since the pilot in our Atlantic region, the app is now available in select cities coast to coast via UNFI’s Professional Services team, helping independent grocers take actionable steps to recoup lost revenue, increase profit margins, combat climate change, and address food insecurity.