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Ethical Eats

In an industry where doing the right thing often happens only after being caught doing the wrong thing, it’s nice to recognize those companies that had good intentions all along.

Count Safeway and Trader Joe’s among these. The Ethisphere Institute listed the two supermarket retailers in their annual rundown of “World’s Most Ethical Companies”. It’s one of the most prestigious nods out there — one that deeply researches companies’ legal track record, corporate citizenship, wellness innovations, and several other factors. Other companies of note were Target, Generals Mills, Stonyfield Farm, and Unilever.

We can’t think of two more deserving retailers. Safeway, long a leader in health and wellness, has one of the industry’s most innovative healthcare models. Pioneered by CEO Steve Burd, the plan holds employees accountable for their health choices, offering reduced insurance premiums to those who forego smoking, maintain a sensible weight, and keep their blood pressure and cholesterol down. In doing this, the company both saves money and promotes healthy lifestyles.

As for Trader Joe’s — although they’re a privately owned company that likes to keep the cards close to the vest, it’s no secret they’re good to their customers as well as their employees. Their eclectic product assortment, with an emphasis on quality first, inspires an almost religious fervor among their shopping base. And industry analysts note that the company has one of the industry’s best reputations for holding on to workers long term.