Musco Family Olive Co. Takes the Lead in Ethical Sourcing

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California-Based Olive Producer Compliant with SQFI's New Ethical Sourcing Module

Musco Family Olive Co.

We see compliance with the ES module as a meaningful way to drive change up and down the supply chain.

Musco Family Olive Co. is proud to be one of the first companies in the U.S. to be certified compliant with Safe Quality Food Institute’s Ethical Sourcing (ES) module, a new sourcing certification that addresses social, safety, and environmental issues.

"Ensuring that our own house is in order is no longer good enough," says Felix Musco, third-generation owner and CEO of Musco Family Olive Co. "We want to partner with companies that share our values and accept our Ethical and Environmental Standards. To that end, we worked closely with SQFI to make our production process as transparent as possible so that our suppliers know that we follow ethical sourcing policies."

"We see compliance with the ES module as a meaningful way to drive change up and down the supply chain," adds Musco.

Ethical sourcing ensures that the products being sourced are created in safe facilities by workers who are treated well and paid fair wages to work legal hours. It also ensures that the supplier is respecting the environment during the production and manufacture of the products.

To obtain this certification, food suppliers must meet strict audit standards that address a number of key social and environmental issues, including hiring and employment practices, wage compliance, occupational health and safety, pollution prevention, air emissions, land use, and waste management – not only at their facility, but also in their supply chain as well. The ES module is a voluntary supplement for SQF 1000 or SQF 2000 Certified Suppliers. Musco holds the SQF 2000 Level 3 certification, which is the highest food safety standard available today. As part of the Ethical Sourcing Module, Musco evaluates every company it does business with to see how those companies interact with their employees and the environment around them.

Sustainability and environmental stewardship have been an important part of the Musco family's mission since 1942. The company uses multiple innovations to shrink its footprint, including recycling most of its water through a closed-loop irrigation system, diverting waste from landfills, growing NyPa forage grass to address soil salinity, and generating renewable electricity through an award-winning, clean-burning biomass plant called RENEWS™ (Renewable Energy Wastewater System). The facilities have also been updated with energy-efficient lighting, pumps, and motors, and the company works to ensure that products are shipped by the most energy-efficient and cost-effective means. Musco participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which enables the company to analyze its carbon footprint and make continuous improvements.

Musco's philosophy of stewardship includes the wellbeing of its employees and the communities in which the company operates. The company's employee wellness programs encourage fun and good health.

"In some ways, SQF compliance is a continuation of the stewardship work that we're already doing at Musco, but it goes a step further by turning our philosophy into something very real and quantifiable that we can put into practice with our suppliers," says Musco Director of Operations and Human Resources Janet Edwards.

About SQF
The SQF program is operated by SQF Institute, which is owned by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The module is available at Additional information is available at ES is a voluntary supplement to the SQF 2000 audit, a HACCP supplier assurance standard for the manufacturing sector.

About Musco Family Olive Co.
Musco Family Olive Co., a privately held third-generation family business, is the leading branded retail supplier of table olives in America. The company’s Pearls and Early California brands command over half of the total national branded market share of ripe olives and use nearly half of the 25,000-acre California olive crop.

Musco is a leader in environmental sustainability, with a unique closed-loop water recycling program, a waste program that diverts 98.5% of the company’s waste from landfill into beneficial reuse or institutional recycling, a patented forage system that actively removes salt from the soil, and an award-winning renewable energy wastewater system (RENEWS™) that makes Musco one of the cleanest burning biomass plants in California, if not the nation. For more information, go to or join the Facebook community of your favorite brand at or

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