A new vision for trade

Co-op, Iceland, Waitrose, Nestlé and Pilgrim’s Pride urge UK government to align trade with environmental ambition

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 23 March 2021

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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Major UK supermarkets and food businesses have joined WWF 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, 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 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.

‘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.’

Chief executive at WWF

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