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As a large grocery retailer, a key way in which we strive for greater sustainability across our business is through the sourcing of our products. That’s why we’re fully committed to ensuring that our buying power is driving positive change for producers, communities and the environment as a whole, both in Ireland and further afield. After all, sourcing responsibly means we can offer you goods that have been produced to the highest environmental & social standards by suppliers & growers who have received a better price for their produce – allowing you to choose sustainably sourced options at affordable prices, week in, week out.And while our goals won’t be achieved overnight, we feel it’s important to share our responsible sourcing commitments with you now, as we embark together on our journey to A better tomorrow. We are proud to say that all our bananas come from sustainable sources verified to either Fairtrade, Organic or Rainforest Alliance standards.
Take a look at some more of our commitments to responsible sourcing below.
For our own-brand range we’ve committed to:
- Selling only 100% responsibly sourced bananas. As of this year, all our bananas are now certified to Fairtrade Organic or Rainforest Alliance standards.
- Having 100% of the cocoa used in all items certified as Organic and/or to standards set by Fairtrade, UTZ or the Rainforest Alliance by the end of 2017.
- Sourcing 100% of the palm oil used in our food items, certified to RSPO standards on at least a mass balance basis with an overall goal of using fully segregated palm oil by the end of 2017. By the end of 2018 our non-food items will contain certified palm oil on a mass balance basis.
- Sourcing 100% of our black, green & Rooibos tea products from either Fairtrade, Rainforest AllianceTM, UTZ and/or Organic certified farms by the end of 2018.
- Having 50% of our coffee certified to Organic and/or Fairtrade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance standards by the end of 2020.
- Sourcing only cage-free eggs & using only cage-free eggs as ingredients in our products by 2025.
Responsible Sourcing of Coffee
By the end of 2020, 50% of our own-brand coffee will be certified to UTZ, Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade standards. It’s important to remember that production of coffee beans is very labour intensive and sustainable production cannot happen overnight if farmers are to keep up with the demand for this commodity.
Many producers in underdeveloped countries worldwide face challenges such as low crop yield which can lead to price fluctuations. We’re committed to working with organisations such as Fairtrade, UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance to protect workers, their communities and the environment to ensure that they can continue to sustainably produce sustainable coffee for decades to come.
Responsible Sourcing of Eggs
By 2025, we will source only cage-free hen eggs as well as using only cage free-eggs in all of our own-brand products. We are committed to working with our current supplier base on the sustainable production of eggs by transitioning towards, barn, free-range and organic production methods.
Animal welfare is a priority for us and we plan to work closely with our suppliers to ensure that they can meet our strict audit standards and targets. Currently we offer a wide range of organic and free-range egg products.
Responsible Sourcing of Tea
Tea is probably the country’s best loved drink but for the millions of workers producing tea the world over, pressure is mounting from large global companies to produce even more on top of the issues they already face such as poor working conditions, housing, education and healthcare.
We are committed to supporting tea growers and sourcing our produce from sustainable and certified sources. By the end of 2018, 100% of our own-brand black, green and Rooibos tea range will be certified to UTZ, Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade standards.
Each of these standard setting organisations focus on topics that's are important in the production of tea such as promoting good environmental practices and tackling social issues by helping to improve the welfare of those working and living in tea producing communities.
Responsible Sourcing of Palm Oil
Did you know that palm oil is used in a wide variety of products, from margarine and chocolate to ice-cream, soaps and cosmetics. Why is palm oil so popular? Aside from the great cooking properties, creamy texture and natural preservatives it is also the highest yielding vegetable crop.
However the cultivation of palm oil causes deforestation which has many negative effects on local communities, biodiversity, protected species and worker’s rights. In an attempt to combat this, we support the work of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) who have developed a set of environmental and social standards for the sustainable production of this commodity and the protection of workers.
We have committed to sourcing mass balance palm oil with the aim of moving to fully segregated RSPO certified Palm Oil for use in all of our own-brand food products by the end of 2017. This means that the palm oil used in our products will be from fully certified sources and is segregated from conventional palm oil throughout the entire supply chain. By the end of 2017 all of our own-brand non-food products will also be certified to RSPO standards on a mass balance basis.
Responsible Sourcing of Cocoa
Cocoa farmers face many challenges in the production of our favourite sweet treat. Although prices for cocoa are rising as a result of higher demand, many farmers and growers do not reap the benefits of this. As well as dealing with unfair pay and poor living and working conditions they must also attempt to tackle environmental issues affecting their crops. That’s why we’re committed to working supporting internationally recognised organisations in the cultivation of sustainable cocoa.
By the end of 2017 all of the cocoa used in all of our own-brand products will be certified to organic and/or UTZ, Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade standards – that’s everything from the 80% cocoa dark chocolate tablets to the cocoa powder used in our chocolate mini muffins.
Many of our products are already certified to these standards and over the coming months we’ll be turning our attention to the remaining products and working closely with our suppliers both in Ireland and abroad to ensure that we reach our target so that by the end of the year we can all enjoy some guilt free, sustainable chocolate.
Responsible Sourcing of Bananas
We are proud to say that 100% of our banana range now comes from farms certified to Fairtrade Organic or Rainforest Alliance standards.
Banana farming provides employment to millions of people in developing countries worldwide and is a major source of income for their economies. However workers in this industry often suffer from poor working conditions, low wages and exposure to harmful chemicals. Small scale farmers in particular are also heavily impacted by climate change which can lead to low crop yield and price fluctuations.
By fulfilling our commitment to responsible sourcing, we can make a positive contribution to workers in the banana industry. We fully support the efforts of organisations like Fairtrade and the Rainforest Alliance who, through their standards, implement values that are also important to us, such as environmental conservation and the wellbeing of workers.