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.

Retailers should make refill stations the norm

Supermarkets are being urged to introduce water dispensers and refill stations for soft drinks into their stores to help tackle plastic pollution. Research from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace found that sales of plastic water bottles from six leading supermarkets which provided year-on-year figures increased 8.2% last year, despite growing public awareness about…
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Coffee farmers face poverty

Millions of coffee and sugar farmers face impoverished livelihoods next year as prices rise but not enough to match the cost of production. Rabobank’s outlook, Supply slide saves grounded demand, tracks the prospects for a basket of 10 key agri-commodities in 2020, including coffee, sugar, palm oil and soybeans. The oversupply of coffee and low prices…
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Food bank usage soars to record levels

More people than ever are relying on food banks to feed themselves, according to new figures from the Trussell Trust. The charity gave out over 820,000 emergency three-day food parcels in the six months between April and September, a 23% increase on the previous year and up from the 492,000 parcels handed out in the…
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Vegan, seagan and flexitarian diets on the rise

Sales of vegan ready-meals have overtaken vegetarian ones for the first time and more and more people are adopting “seagan” – vegan plus seafood – diets, according to this year’s Food & Drink Report by Waitrose. The report is based on new OnePoll consumer research of people across Britain (not just Waitrose & Partners shoppers),…
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Meat eating threatens rare species

Consumption of pork and chicken in the UK has been linked with the loss of vital habitats in Brazil’s savannah. New research has found that overseas consumer markets could be responsible for more than half of the impact of expanding soy production on rare species in the Brazilian Cerrado, one of the world’s most biodiverse…
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Olive oil supply chain facing disease crisis

Supplies of olive oil from Italy are under serious threat from olive tree leprosy, caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. The disease was first detected in Italy in 2013, and has infected more than 21m trees in Puglia, one of the most important olive-growing areas in the world. The “killer bug” is currently moving northwards…
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Supermarkets ‘complicit’ in stripping oceans of wild fish

Campaigners are calling for an end to the practice of feeding farmed fish with wild-caught fish after an investigation found links between seafood sold by UK supermarket chains and unsustainable fishing operations in India, Vietnam and The Gambia. Dutch-based Changing Markets said it found that each of the UK’s ten largest supermarket chains, including Tesco…
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Farmers accuse Tesco of ‘demonising meat’

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has reacted angrily to a new Tesco advert which promotes the supermarket’s Plant Chef range. The farming group has raised its objection to a TV and radio advert aired this month in which a child states, 'daddy I don’t want to eat animals anymore'. The advert, part of the grocer’s…
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Living wage hike splits opinion

A government plan to increase the National Living Wage (NLW) to £10.50 by 2024 has received a mixed response. The Resolution Foundation think-tank welcomed the “hugely ambitious plan” to eliminate low pay; however UKHospitality argued the increase would hit sector margins and damage jobs. The pledge to increase the NLW to reach two-thirds of typical…
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Ikea pledges to slash emissions from food

Ikea and the World Bank are among the latest organisations to commit to slashing food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030. The pair joined a number of US universities and other organisations in making the Cool Food Pledge during this week’s United Nations Climate Action Summit. The pledge is overseen by the World Resources…
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