Grocery sector news updates

Latest grocery news and information for businesses, consumers, restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, catering operations and other foodservice providers.

Net zero used as “veil to disguise climate inaction”

Covid-19 has increased the urgency behind business efforts to decarbonise but there remains a gulf between ambition and action, new research has found. A survey of sustainability leaders by consultancy South Pole found that most organisations' climate mitigation efforts have stayed the same or accelerated during the pandemic reflected in a surge of net zero…
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New commodities law ‘not fit for purpose’

Campaigners say that plans to ban the purchase of illegally produced food and forest commodities will not be sufficient to tackle deforestation. The government plans to introduce a new law to the Environment Bill which will make it illegal for UK businesses to source key commodities like cocoa, soya and palm oil if they have…
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Retail sector to be net zero by 2040

UK retailers will support sustainable diets and transition to electric delivery vehicles as part of an ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. Over 60 leading retailers including Aldi, Morrisons and Greggs are supporting the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Climate Action Roadmap which aims to align the retail industry and its supply chains with…
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Anxious growers warn of food price spike

Falling cereal yields and a potential shortage of people to pick fruits and vegetables could reduce availability and push up the price of key ingredients for foodservice operators. The results of this year’s NFU harvest survey showed a significant drop in yield across all major crops as an extended period of extreme and volatile weather,…
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Asda sustainability store champions refill and recycling

Asda has become the latest supermarket to trial a sustainability store concept featuring refill stations, loose produce and on-site recycling facilities. The store in Middleton, Leeds is designed to help shoppers reduce, reuse and recycle products more easily and will be used to test concepts with the potential to be rolled out at scale. Features…
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Co2 emissions “rebound” following lockdown lows

CO2 emissions fell further in the first half of 2020 than during the financial crisis of 2008, the oil crisis of 1979 and even the second world war. In a paper published in Nature Communications, researchers showed that in the first six months of this year, emissions were down 8.8% compared to the same period…
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Tesco plans to triple sales of meat alternatives

Tesco has set itself a target to increase sales of plant-based meat alternatives by 300% by 2025 as part of its ambition to halve the environmental impact of the average shopping basket. Britain’s largest food retailer said it would launch new products including plant-based ready meals, sausages, burgers, quiches, pies and party food to help…
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Investors pile pressure on ‘unhealthy’ supermarket portfolios

Supermarkets must set ambitious targets to increase sales of healthy products, according to the healthy markets investor coalition. Members of ShareAction’s coalition, which together represent over $1 trillion (£0.78 trillion) in assets under management, also called for clearer labelling. They argued that food businesses need to demonstrate they are “well-positioned for the increase in regulation…
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Iceland demands greater plastic transparency

Iceland has revealed it used over 32,000 tonnes of plastic across its UK and international operations in 2019 as the retailer called on the government to make reporting of plastic packaging mandatory for businesses. Iceland managing director Richard Walker described the results as “simply terrifying” in a blog post in which he noted that Iceland…
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Supermarkets push plant-based ready meal ranges – but not enough

The proportion of plant-based ready meals available in supermarkets has increased from 3% to 16% in the past two years. A survey of 2,404 meals by Eating Better also showed that 24% were either vegan or vegetarian. The vegetarian options remain heavily reliant on cheese, which is an ingredient in 70% of the meals. Eating…
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