HOUSTON -- Sysco Corp. has been awarded a prestigious Champions award from the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program of the EPA.

PESP is a voluntary partnership which focuses on reducing the use of pesticides and reducing the risks to humans and the environment. More than 70 suppliers, representing 160 produce processing facilities and 4,179 growers tending more than 600,000 acres are participating in Sysco's integrated pest management program.

At Sysco, IPM goes beyond the basic concept of using environmentally friendly pesticides only as necessary. It encompasses a collection of practices that protect ecologically sensitive areas; improve air, water, and soil quality; reduce, reuse, and recycle resources; conserve energy; and minimize use of agricultural chemicals both as pesticides and fertilizers.

"Safe, quality products are of utmost importance to Sysco and our industry leading pest management program is one of the hallmarks of our quality assurance program," said Rick Schnieders, Sysco's chairman and chief executive officer. "We hope our industry will follow Sysco's example, as reduced pesticide use results in an extraordinary benefit for all."

Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The company operates 180 distribution facilities serving more than 400,000 customers. For the fiscal year 2008 that ended June 28, 2008, the company generated more than $37 billion in sales.

SOURCE: Sysco Corporation via GlobeNewswire.