SUBWAY® restaurants are known for serving fresh, great tasting food and good nutritional choices to millions of customers around the world every day. Our, franchisee owned, Independent Purchasing Cooperatives or Companies (IPCs) are responsible for procuring our delicious products and ingredients as well as the equipment, supplies and services used in our restaurants.
Together with the IPCs, we are dedicated to supporting SUBWAY® franchisees in the most environmentally sustainable manner possible. From streamlining our supply chains, using sustainable sourcing practices to ensuring our high food quality and food safety standards are met, we not only help reduce energy, water usage and waste but we’re taking care of the environment too. Ultimately the health of our population depends on the health of the planet.
In the past three years, our sustainability efforts in the US & Canada have significantly cut our resource consumption and reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 292,936 metric tons of CO2 (which is equivalent to 57,244 passenger cars not driven for a year) even as we grew by 12%. We have focused on five key areas:
Food safety and food quality are our top priorities. Our goal is to serve food that consistently meets the highest quality and safety standards – from the time it is grown, harvested or caught to when it is put into a sandwich or salad in our restaurants.
To ensure that the food we serve is always fresh and sustainably produced, we have stringent audit processes that we enforce throughout our supply chain as well as require that our suppliers’ employment practices meet our Vendor Code of Conduct.
Our high standards for food safety ensure that our customers are getting the quality the SUBWAY® brand expects from us. It begins with setting detailed product specifications followed by inspection of samples pulled from distribution to ensure that specifications are being met. All approved facilities that supply food to SUBWAY® restaurants, undergo a rigorous third-party audit for food safety, HAACP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices). In addition, our auditing process ensures that good agricultural and harvesting practices (GAP’s and GHP’s) are used by the ranches and farms that supply produce to us. The auditing bodies vary by country. For instance, in the United States we use the USDA to audit to this standard.
The SUBWAY® brand’s Office of Food Safety and Quality Enhancement team reviews all our food safety and quality programs and recommends improvements as needed. This team works together with our vendors to achieve our food safety and quality improvement goals. For instance, they identified high pressure pasteurization (HPP) as a way to improve freshness and food safety while eliminating the dependence on other preservatives.
Food safety is of paramount importance in our restaurants too! Sandwich Artists™ are required to always follow strict hand washing procedures and proper glove usage for all food handling processes. All products are monitored throughout the day to ensure proper holding temperatures (cold food kept cold and hot food kept hot). To further ensure freshness, all prepared food is managed via strict shelf life dating procedures. Our food safety policies are at least as stringent as the guidelines for both the FDA’s Food Code and The National Restaurant Association's Serve Safe® program. Whenever a local code differs from these guidelines, our policy is that the restaurant must always follow the most stringent policy. We provide training for franchisees and their staff on the importance of food safety. Every restaurant throughout the world is evaluated for compliance of policies and procedures every month. If our food safety, product temperature and pest control standards and policies are not adhered to at the restaurant level, it is grounds for franchisee termination.
Sustainable sourcing extends to all aspects of our supply chain, from the farm to the sandwich. Animal husbandry, fair labor practices as well as sustainable agricultural & manufacturing practices and packaging are all considered. We fully support the principles of responsible farming and fishing and want to do our part to help ensure the long - term sustainability of the earth’s natural resources.
Our vendors commit to complying with fair labor and proper animal husbandry practices, maintaining Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices audits for food safety, as well as adhering to our Gold Standard Food Safety and Quality Policy. We use a combination of internal and external third party audits to ensure our standards are met and to protect our suppliers, distributors, restaurant operators and most importantly our customers.
Working with the IPCs, the Subway® brand looks for suppliers who share our values and commitment to environmental and social responsibility and continually work with them to improve the sustainability of our products. Our purchasing strategy includes female and ethnic minority suppliers, wherever possible, in all aspects of the supply chain. In the U.S., we purchase over $100 million of products from minority suppliers annually.
Working with our franchisee-owned Independent Purchasing Cooperatives, the Subway® brand looks for vendor partners who share our values and commitment to environmental and social responsibility and continually work with them to improve the sustainability of our products. While we know we have more to do, we’re proud of the practices that have been put in that make our restaurants & operations more sustainable. Some examples include:
While we know we have more to do, we’re proud of our efforts to make our restaurants & operations more sustainable. Some examples include:
Our goal is to serve food that consistently meets the highest quality and safety standards – from the time it is grown, harvested or caught to when it is put into a sandwich or salad in our restaurants.
Many of our suppliers are farming families who have been responsible stewards of the land for generations and share our commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. They use sustainable agricultural practices such as cover cropping and crop rotation to restore nutrients to the soil and help maintain local ecosystems, minimize pesticide and fertilizer use, and employ irrigation practices that reduce electricity and water use.
We use locally grown produce where possible to help support local businesses and communities. For instance, customers in Arkansas enjoy tomatoes from Triple M Farms in Ashley County and sub shops in Georgia serve cucumbers & bell peppers from Carter & Sons in Lake Park during their local seasons. No matter where our produce comes from, we ensure our growers have met our strict food safety and product quality standards so you can enjoy your favorite sandwich made fresh, just the way you want it – while helping preserve the planet.
Triple M Farms, Ashley County, Arkansas
The Meeks Family Farm in Ashley County, AR has been supplying fresh produce to local SUBWAY® restaurants for three years now. During the summer months, you can find their tomatoes, green peppers and cucumbers in our sandwich shops throughout Arkansas (and in neighboring areas). Triple M Farms is a fourth generation family farm that creates summer jobs, stimulating the local economy, while reducing our food-miles and sustaining agricultural growing area in Southern Arkansas. “We grow tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers for Subway. Our family has deep roots in this community and we are dedicated to growing safe, fresh produce and at the same time being good stewards of the resources that have been entrusted to us. From our farm to your Footlong, we’re proud to be a part of the Subway family.” – James Meeks, Triple M Farms in Milo, Arkansas.
Carter & Sons, Lake Park, Georgia
Carter and Sons Farms, owned by Walt Carter, is located in Lake Park, Georgia. Carter & Sons supplies Subway restaurants in Georgia with green bell pepper and cucumbers for two growing seasons: May - July and September - November. Their farm creates local jobs, especially during harvest seasons, helping sustain a local agricultural region and stimulate the local economy. The Carter family also operates a fresh produce market, providing an array of nutritious, crisp, “I am proud to be a Georgia farmer. Caring for the land and its resources has always been a priority for my family because without healthy land, we can’t do what we love. From our family’s fields to your Subway sandwich, we hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor.” - Walt Carter.
Dalena Farms, California
Dalena Farms is located in California’s Central Valley and supplies red onions for Subway sandwich shops from May thru September. This has been a family owned onion farm for more than 40 years. Today, three generations of the Dalena family are working in every aspect of the company. They pride themselves on providing excellent produce as well as their sustainable farming practices.
For instance, they replenish ground with nutrients with crop rotation and cover crops as well as maintain an extensive water management system to conserve water throughout their operation. Dalena Farms works with local seed companies to grow trial varieties less susceptible to disease and reduce the amount of plant protection products used. They employ over 500 people from the nearby communities during the local harvesting and packing season.
Western Harvesting, California
Western Harvesting, a grower of baby spinach for SUBWAY® restaurants, is located in King City, in the Salinas Valley, also known as “America’s Salad Bowl”
. Western Harvesting is committed to reducing their environmental impact and supporting the agricultural community by using advanced irrigation techniques like drip irrigation and water monitoring in field to help reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation. They use only vegetable compost mixed with product shrink to enrich their soil every season. (Product shrink is raw spinach that cannot be used for some reason, for example if it has fallen on the floor). Electricity is run at off-peak times when possible and they recycle all their corrugate and plastics. Together we are proud to offer you the freshest baby spinach while helping preserve the environment.