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Bates commends Consumer Focus on supermarket green league

November 11, 2009 6:00 AM

Shadow Minister for the Environment and Sustainability, Mick Bates AM,has welcomed the Consumer Focus research into the green practices of thenine largest food retailers in the U.K. which he hopes will name and shame the worst offenders into taking action to improve their greencredentials.

The latest mystery shopping exercise by Consumer Focus has found thatthe gap between the best and worst performing supermarkets has got widersince the first survey in 2006. Sainsbury's and M&S made the biggestleap by achieving the first ever overall "A" (excellent) score. Theywere followed by Waitrose, which retained a "B" grade. Othersupermarkets such as Morrisons showed improvement over the course of thesurveys; Tesco showed no progress since 2007 and Asda moved down theratings.

Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Mick Bates states:

"This important research exposes which supermarkets are doing well andwhich need to take bigger steps to improve their green credentials.Sainsbury's and M&S have done particularly well and I am impressed tosee that M&S has consistently improved its practices since 2006, settinga good example to its competitors of how to become the 'green giants' ofthe supermarket world."

Supermarkets were rated on a variety of topics, including theavailability of seasonal UK fruit and vegetables, organics, fair tradeproducts, and sustainable fish stocks, as well as their efforts incutting down waste, encouraging people to re-use their carrier bags andstocking products with recycled products.

Mick Bates AM adds: "There is no denying that supermarkets willcontinue to prosper but unfortunately there is always a price to pay andit is usually the producer and the environment that suffer. I hope theConsumer Focus research which has named and shamed the worst offenderswill spur the supermarkets into action, to promote and sell more localand Fair Trade food and products, reduce packaging and recycle more, sothat supermarkets play their part in reducing emissions and improvingtheir green practices."

Consumer Focus is calling on all supermarkets to respond to consumerpressure and make their sustainable policies visible in the store. Ifsupermarkets are serious about sustainability, they should stock a highproportion of green products and signpost sustainable issues at allpoints of customer contact, whether in the store, their website orthrough their helpline to help customers make green choices.