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Supermarkets call for a trade standards that put the environment first

Major UK supermarkets have joined WWF in calling for a future for UK trade that puts the environment at the forefront. 

Businesses including Co-op, Iceland, Nestlé, Pilgrim’s Pride and Waitrose have signed a statement urging ministers to develop core standards for trade, in line with recommendations set out by the Trade and Agriculture Commission.

This would include environmental, animal welfare, and public health standards for all food sold in the UK, no matter where in the world it’s produced.

In a joint statement, coordinated by WWF, the businesses are urging the government to capitalise on the UK’s status as a newly independent trading nation to define a path for trade that will help tackle the climate and nature emergency and enhance supply chain resilience.

Tanya Steele, Chief Executive at WWF, said: ‘People will be shocked to learn that the food on our plates is destroying our natural world and contributing to climate change, with unsustainable farming practices leading to deforestation, pollution and habitat destruction.

‘With nature in freefall, we must act now to protect the natural systems we all rely on, from healthy soil to clean water and a stable climate.

‘Businesses know what is at stake and – like us – they want politicians to act. The UK government must stand up for nature by setting core environmental standards for all food bought and sold in the UK, championing those standards at home and overseas and supporting farmers who are committed to a sustainable approach.’

In related news, an estimated 931 million tonnes of food is wasted every single year, equalling the weight of 23 million fully-loaded 40-tonne trucks, enough to circle the Earth 7 times, according to a new report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

According to the report, an estimated 931 million tonnes of food, or 17% of total food available to consumers in 2019, went into the waste bins of households, retailers, restaurants and other food services.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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