Grocery industry sector news updates

Latest grocery news and information for businesses, consumers, restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, catering operations and food service industry providers.

Labour shortages leave food rotting in fields

There have been plenty of warnings, but new data released by the National Farmers Union shows that the vote the leave the European Union has left fruit and vegetable farmers woefully short of workers. More than 4,300 vacancies went unfilled, according to an NFU survey seen by the Guardian, leaving some food rotting in fields…
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New food council needs workers’ voice, says union

Workers should have a voice as part of the UK government’s new Food and Drink Sector Council to stop it “becoming an exclusive talking shop for big business”, the GMB Union has said. The Council, whose aim is to boost productivity and make the industry more resilient, sustainable and competitive, met for the first time…
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New front-of-pack labelling guide

IGD has launched a new guide to help improve the consistency of information that food companies provide on nutritional labels. Almost one in two shoppers (46%) think front-of-pack labels are too difficult to read. However, 45% would like to learn more to help them make healthier food choices. The guide therefore contains simple messages and…
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Ban price promotions, says Action on Sugar

Health campaigners want a ban on price promotions for confectionery and the sugar tax extended to sweets and chocolates. Action on Sugar assessed 95 different products, with some containing 29 teaspoons of sugar – almost four times the recommended daily allowance for an adult. The group said that discounting “sharing bags” is encouraging excessive sugar…
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Compostable teabags to help reduce microplastics

The Coop is testing a “fully biodegradable paper tea bag”, a move that could save nine tonnes of plastic finding its way into composting and anaerobic digestion plants. Some tea comes in compostable bags, but the majority of the mass-produced brands use paper ones that also contain around 25% polypropylene; this allows them to heat…
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Wrap – should polystyrene be banned?

The government is “exploring whether we can ban other problematic materials where suitable alternatives exist”, and polystyrene should be on the list, according to Wrap CEO Marcus Gover. Speaking at a Westminster energy, environment and transport forum on waste, Gover highlighted that there isn’t a good market for recycled polystyrene and therefore “we have to…
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FAO calls for reduced meat consumption

Livestock emissions can “quickly be cut” by 20% to 30%, according to José Graziano da Silva, director general at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. Speaking at the 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture in Berlin, Graziano da Silva highlighted the need for “climate-smart” livestock production. According to some reports he also suggested that governments should…
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Businesses urged to meet higher chicken standards

The RSPCA is urging supermarkets and foodservice companies to follow Marks & Spencer’s lead and commit to new welfare requirements for chickens. Last week, M&S became the first retailer to pledge to meet new welfare requirements for meat chickens across Europe, which have been drawn up by a partnership of animal protection groups including the…
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Retailers mark Veganuary with plant-based launches

Supermarkets have introduced a raft of new vegan products in response to the growing consumer demand for plant-based foods. This week, Tesco launched an 18-strong Wicked Kitchen vegan range developed in partnership with high-profile plant-based chef, Derek Sarno. Products including a carrot pastrami-spiced wrap and a caponata sourdough pizza are now available in 600 Tesco…
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Deforestation targets likely to be missed

There is no chance of hitting targets to tackle deforestation by 2020 at the current rate of progress, according to this year’s Forest 500 analysis. Forest 500 identifies the most influential players in the supply chains of the four key forest risk commodities: palm oil, timber, cattle and soy. The companies, financial institutions and governments…
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