Tesco has announced a strengthening in the environmental standards required by its 14,000 fresh produce growers, by implementing the LEAF Marque environmental assurance scheme across its entire global produce supply chain.
The retailer will ensure all UK growers are certified by the end of 2022 and will begin the process of certifying the rest of its global grower base from 2023, with the aim of completing the transformation by 2025. The scale of the roll-out is unprecedented among LEAF’s existing supply base.
The LEAF Marque, run by global farming organisation LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), requires farms to take a whole business approach to delivering more sustainable, climate positive farming through:
- Resilient and diverse businesses
- Increased implementation of regenerative practices
- Improved positive action for climate change through energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprints
- Improved soil management to enhance soil quality and soil health
- Improved implementation of effective IPM solutions for crop health and protection
- Circular approaches to resource use and waste management
- Improved management of water use and water quality
- Enriched diversity of native habitats and species
The relationship represents a significant part of Tesco’s approach to restoring nature in food production. In partnership with WWF, the retailer has committed to halving the environmental impact of the average shopping basket, and the requirements under the LEAF Marque Standard are expected to accelerate progress towards that goal by strengthening environmental farming practices within growing regions around the world.
Ashwin Prasad, Chief Product Officer at Tesco said:
“In this decade of action on climate and nature, it’s vital we do all we can to produce food more sustainably. The implementation of the LEAF marque Standard will help drive environmental improvements across thousands of growers and suppliers, both here in the UK and globally. But we can’t achieve the transformational change needed alone – we’re calling on the whole of the food industry to join us in raising environmental standards to ensure the food we eat is produced sustainably.”
Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive said:
“This is a hugely significant and transformative moment in LEAF’s 30-year history. Tesco’s commitment will bring real and lasting changes in food production and offer assurance to consumers that their purchasing decisions are having a positive impact on our climate. We are extremely excited as we embark on this landmark relationship. Together, we will continue to “raise the bar” for the good of our planet and future generations.