Lidl GB has announced that it will be taking the environmental standards of its fresh produce suppliers to the next level of sustainability excellence through the LEAF Marque environmental assurance scheme. The move will see its entire British fresh produce supplier base achieving LEAF Marque certification by the end of 2023.
LEAF Marque is a leading global environmental assurance system, run by global farming organisation LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), recognising more sustainably farmed products. Certified businesses currently operate in 21 countries worldwide and deliver more regenerative and nature-based farming through:
• Implementing regenerative farming practices
• More sustainable soil and water management
• Reducing carbon emissions through greater energy efficiency
• More circular approaches to waste management and reducing plastic use
• Enhancing biodiversity and nature conservation
Speaking on the announcement, Lidl GB’s head of responsible sourcing and ethical trade at Lidl GB, Amali Bunter, said “Sustainability has been core to the Lidl business model for many years. We firmly believe it is our responsibility, through innovation, investment, and active leadership, to build a bright, sustainable future – for our business, our farmer suppliers, the people we interact with and our planet.
“New patterns of production and consumption are emerging across Great Britain, reflecting global geopolitical uncertainty, resource availability and consumer preferences. As a leading food retailer, we recognise the demand we place on our agricultural resources and the influence we have on our suppliers’ practices,' Bunter added.
“Our partnership with LEAF builds on the ambitions of our sustainability strategy “to Make Good Food Accessible to Everyone” which sets out clear goals around reducing carbon emissions across our supply chains, minimising food loss from farm to fork, supporting more circular farming systems which protect and enhance our precious ecosystems and sourcing all our products in a way that respects the environment. It also supports our wider global ambitions as we partner with GLOBAL G.A.P to promote farm-level biodiversity in international fruit and vegetable production.
Together with our valued suppliers, we look forward to working hard and smart to deliver tangible action to continually improve environmental standards throughout our value chain.”
LEAF CEO, Caroline Drummond, added: “This is a vital time for sustainable farming. Farmers are on the front line of climate change solutions – reducing carbon emissions, building healthier and more productive soils, delivering better air and water quality and enhancing biodiversity. LEAF Marque certification is one of the most effective frameworks for accelerating incremental improvements at an individual farm level, which collectively are driving profound reforms in more climate positive food production across the globe.
“LEAF has a 30-year heritage in working at a grass-roots level. We are a practical, farmer-led organisation working in partnership with forward looking farmers to achieve a shared vision of a more productive, resilient, and nature-based farming and food system.
“Some 45 per cent of UK produced fruit and vegetables are already grown on LEAF Marque certified businesses and we have made a public commitment to almost doubling this over the next five years. It is fantastic to see Lidl committing to LEAF Marque across its entire UK fresh produce supply chain and it brings us a step closer to achieving this ambition.
'Sustainability is mission critical for retailers and they have a huge role to play in leading the green agenda, putting environmental responsibility at the heart of their strategic and operational goals. This bold, concrete action being taken by Lidl sends a very clear message of leadership, determination, and vision. We will work at speed and at scale to make change happen.”