Supermarkets ranked on reducing meat

Sustain member Feedback ranks the top ten major UK supermarkets on how well they are working to reduce the impact of the meat they sell and to help shoppers switch to buying less and better meat.

Supermarket meat. Photo credit: Pixabay

Supermarket meat. Photo credit: Pixabay

Feedback believe that many supermarkets are still failing to commit to important steps such as guaranteeing zero deforestation in their supply chains and that beyond a few more vegetarian and vegan options, supermarkets can do far more to make plant-based the default choice and to increase the affordability of healthy fruit and veg.

Therefore Feedback have created a supermarket scorecard to assess how UK supermarkets are supporting a shift to healthy, low meat diets.

Their research showed that:

• Morrisons and Iceland are laggards when it comes to having no policy on sustainable sourcing of soya for animal feed despite this crop being a direct driver of deforestation.

• Iceland are the only UK supermarket not to be a signatory of the Cerrado Manifesto, a pledge to prevent deforestation of the Amazon through land use change for agriculture in Brazil.

• Marks & Spencer (M&S) stand out for their work in improving the supply chain. They are the only retailer with a target and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to increase their plant-based offerings.

• Many stores have expanded their vegan ranges over the last two years, but Sainsbury’s and Aldi are the only retailers to place plant-based proteins in the meat section.

• Six of the top ten supermarkets sell meat that complies with no more than the minimum regulatory standards (considered in our assessment to be low-quality).

• Misleading ‘fake farm’ brands are still prevalent - notably in Aldi, Asda, Tesco and M&S - despite a public backlash, media mistrust and concern from the National Farmers’ Union.

• Waitrose and M&S score well in our assessment as they have enacted tangible change both in their supply chains and in-store.

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Climate Change and Nature: Sustain has taken a keen interest in the rapidly accumulating evidence about the effect of food and farming on climate change and nature, as scientific evidence emerges that our food system is a very significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.

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