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The Friday digest: fruit and veg left rotting as labour and land dry up

From packaging and fruit production to food supplies and politicians, this week we can only find problems. Let’s start with packaging. Much has been made of the ‘unintended consequences’ from cafés, fast food chains, pubs and supermarkets switching from plastic to other materials in a bid to be (or appear to be) more sustainable. Recoup…
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Consumers shunning processed foods and reducing waste: FSA study

Some 40% of consumers are eating less processed food and reducing food waste in a bid to eat more sustainably, according to new research by the Food Standards Agency. Some 30% reported buying food with a low environmental impact always or most of the time. The FSA’s ‘Food and you 2’ report also shows 32% are eating…
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Carlsberg’s new climate commitments

Carlsberg has committed to achieve net-zero by 2040, increase the share of its low- and no-alcohol drinks to 35% by 2030 and deliver ‘zero packaging waste’ by the end of the decade. The targets are among a range of new commitments set out in the brewer’s new environmental, social and governance strategy called ‘Together towards…
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The EU sustainability directive with a long reach

UK food companies need to be wary of the EU’s new corporate sustainability due diligence directive, says Martin Baxter. What is the directive? The European Commission’s proposed directive on corporate sustainability due diligence (Corporate sustainability due diligence) is working its way through the legislative process and is expected to be adopted by the European Parliament and…
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Burger King’s bold move to bench beef

The burger chain has flipped its menu and made plant-based patties the default option. Behaviour change specialists are impressed, says David Burrows. “Normal, oder mit fleisch”. “Normal, or with meat?” That was the question presented to Austrians visiting a Burger King restaurant in Vienna recently. The fast food chain has said it is “making meatless indulgence…
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Plastics Package: Paper puff, sewage sludge and Double trouble

July was supposed to be plastic-free but the news was anything but. By David Burrows The Package is back after an enforced summer break (July was reportedly a ‘plastic-free’ month). Meantime, our inbox filled with anti-plastic PR puffery. Favourites among the pile were “Plastic-free is the future, not just for July” and“It’s 2022, so why are…
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The Friday Digest: Eco assessment fuels meat debate

The argument over what constitutes a sustainable diet cranked up a notch this week following the publication of a study estimating the environmental impact of 57,000 food products in the UK and Ireland. Carried out by researchers at Oxford University, the research focused on multi-ingredient products such as ready meals, cakes and quiches, which have historically been…
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Farmers demand support for regenerative transition

A coalition of more than 60 farmers is calling on the UK government to support a transition to regenerative agriculture to ensure long-term food security. Coordinated by the Sustainable Food Trust, the farmers argue that a shift to regenerative farming practices is an essential response to soaring fertiliser and fuel costs caused by the Ukraine…
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Food supplies at risk from energy crisis

Fears are growing that power outages could affect food supplies this winter as the energy crisis deepens. The Politics Home website revealed earlier this week that officials from Defra have asked food industry groups for their views on how major power outages could affect food supplies in the UK. It said the department told industry figures that it considers…
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Supermarkets criticised for unsustainable use of krill

Campaigners are calling for a ban on the use of krill to feed farmed fish, which they say is damaging critical marine ecosystems and contributing to climate change. An investigation by the Changing Markets Foundation found that European retailers, including several in the UK, are routinely selling farmed fish that use Antarctic krill – a…
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