When we do our weekly food shop, many of us try to buy products that are sustainable and better for the planet. But how transparent are supermarkets being with customers on their sustainability practices? Eating Better’s new report shows the dark truth stocking our aisles.
In terms of animal welfare, most retailers report on their animal welfare practices but the front runners are M&S and Waitrose, with Asda, Aldi, Iceland, Lidl and Morrisons trailing behind.
Policies on antibiotic use in livestock are some of the strongest when it comes to reporting and transparency, with M&S, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose coming top of the leaderboard.
Raising fewer animals
No supermarkets are doing enough when it comes to raising fewer animals to reduce their carbon emissions.
There is almost no reporting on what supermarkets are doing to improve biodiversity on the farms they source their products from, with Aldi and Iceland not even mentioning the topic in their reports.
There is no evidence of any policies to reduce pollution caused by farming from any supermarket.
No supermarkets are pulling their weight when it comes to using less pesticides on their farms.
Who is responisble
The way we produce food is a key driver of climate change, deforestation and catastrophic declines in biodiversity. Food retailers have a responsibility to address their environmental impact. All in all, transparency is poor, progress is uneven and there are no commitments to reduce the number of farmed animals or meat and dairy sold.
UK retailers are failing to drive more sustainable food production. They need to start sourcing higher quality meat and dairy products by working with farmers who rear fewer animals in well managed farms that deliver high standards of animal welfare.
In the meantime, we as customers can do more to drive demand towards more sustainable and climate friendly options by changing our buying habits.
By reducing our intake of meat and dairy we can help reduce the demand for animals in factory farms, the impact of climate change and the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks from factory farms.