Iceland props up ‘less and better’ meat table

Supermarkets are making slow progress in supporting the public to eat less and better meat, according to a new league table.

The NGO, Feedback, released a scorecard this week assessing how UK supermarkets are supporting a shift to healthy, low-meat diets. It used a mixture of publicly available data and mystery shopper assessments to rank the top 10 supermarkets based on 24 different criteria regarding their progress in shifting their offerings away from meat, as well as looking at the quality of the produce they do sell.

Iceland came bottom of the list with a score of just 14% with Feedback citing the absence of a publicly available corporate policy on sustainable animal feed, and Iceland being the only retailer not to have publicly signed up to the Cerrado Manifesto, which supports a halt to deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado savannah. Despite having some vegan foods on offer, it said Iceland had the lowest proportion of vegetarian ready meals of any retailer at just 7%.

Occupying the top of the table were Waitrose and M&S with 63%. They were the only two retailers to have more than 20% of their ready meals vegetarian and both stocked 100% certified meat.

Feedback is supporting the recent target by the Eating Better alliance for a 50% reduction in the quantity of meat sold by 2030.

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report detailing the evidence for major and sweeping changes to our agriculture and land use, including shifts to more sustainable diets in places, like the UK, where meat and dairy consumption is already too high.

The IPCC said changing diets towards a lower share of animal-sourced food, once implemented at scale, would reduce overall GHG emissions.

Goldsmiths, University of London, stoked controversy this week after announcing a plan to remove all beef products from sale as part of a raft of measures to tackle climate change.

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