Major UK supermarkets and food businesses, Co-op, Iceland, Nestlé, Pilgrim’s Pride and Waitrose, joined WWF today in calling for a ‘bold and forward-looking vision’ for UK trade, that puts the environment and the just transition to a green economy ‘front and centre’.
Highlighting the food sector’s reliance on ‘ecosystem services’, from healthy soils to clean water and a stable climate, the businesses signed a statement urging ministers to develop core standards for trade, in line with recommendations set out by the Trade and Agriculture Commission.
Cathryn Higgs, Co-op’s Head of Food Policy, said: “As an ethical retailer, we care about the world we share and are committed to reducing our impact on the planet, by continuing to make positive changes to the way we run our business. We know we cannot do this alone so we are proud to stand by WWF on this important issue and welcome change to the future vision of UK trade which puts the environment at the centre.”
Included in core standards would be 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 group of businesses ‘whose operations depend on the health of the natural world’, is 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.