Asda pledges sustainable certification for all fresh produce by 2025

All UK-based Asda fresh produce growers will achieve LEAF Marque certification by May next year with worldwide suppliers certified by the end of 2025.

The improvements made across the supply chain will help the supermarket achieve its carbon net-zero goal by 2040.

The LEAF Marque environmental assurance system provides independent, third-party verification around core areas of sustainable farming practices.

These include soil and water management, energy efficiency, waste management, carbon sequestration, energy use and enrichment of biodiversity.

The scheme offers growers a framework to help them monitor their performance, identify strengths and weaknesses and set targets for improvement across the whole farm.

Jane Berry – vice president and managing director of IPL, which sources produce on behalf of Asda – 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.”

LEAF’s sirector of business development Clare Mike added: “LEAF Marque certification is a powerful catalyst for change and one of the most effective frameworks for mobilising advances in more regenerative, sustainable farming across the globe with transparency, impartiality, and rigour.

“Underpinned by the whole-farm principles of Integrated Farm Management, it is accelerating incremental improvements at an individual farmer level, which, collectively, are driving profound reforms in food production.

“With sustainability becoming increasingly important to consumers and the green agenda taking root, it’s great to see Asda setting ambitious goals. Their willingness to embrace change and adapt to challenges signals a time of transformation and positive change.

“Together with the determination and commitment of their growers, we are making real and lasting differences to addressing the climate emergency and the sustainability of the world’s farming and food systems.”

“We are delighted that Asda has adopted the LEAF Marque to advance their standards of production to the next level of sustainable farming excellence.”

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

Earlier this month, Aldi UK announced a new ambition for all of its UK-based fresh produce growers to achieve the LEAF Marque by the end of the year.

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