Move is part of supermarket’s long-term sustainability strategy

Asda has begun to roll out LEAF Marque certification across its UK fruit and vegetable supply base.

The supermarket said the move is aimed at strengthening its environmental standards, with the LEAF Marque scheme providing independent, third-party verification around core areas of sustainable farming practice including soil and water management, energy efficiency, waste management, carbon sequestration, energy use and enrichment of biodiversity.

All Asda’s UK-based fresh produce growers are due to achieve LEAF Marque certification by May next year, with worldwide suppliers certified by the end of 2025. Asda said the improvements made across the supply chain will help it move towards its goal of being carbon net zero by 2040.

Jane Berry, vice president and managing director of IPL, said: “We have always known that we couldn’t go on this journey alone, so it is fantastic to work in tandem with LEAF and our valued fresh produce suppliers who are committed to continually improving and making a difference.

“Our approach to sustainability is based on the firm belief that protecting the environment and saving people money go hand in hand. We know that the climate and ecosystem emergency is at the forefront of our customers’ minds, but many are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

“We are determined to aim high and do all we can to support them during this time, without losing sight of our responsibilities to offer greener choices that don’t cost the earth.”

At the end of 2021, LEAF announced a target for 85 per cent of all UK fruit and vegetables to be grown to LEAF Marque Standards, which forms part of the organisation’s wider 10-year strategy to raise the ‘sustainably bar’ across all farming sectors.