Co-op signs EU Code to improve food sustainability

By Helen Adams
Food retailer, the Co-op, has agreed to the terms in the EU Code of Conduct to improve food sustainability

Central England Co-op has signed the European Union’s new Code of Conduct on Responsible Business and Marketing Practices in an effort to work closely with partners to help improve food sustainability.

 

The Co-op’s dedication to cutting food and electric waste 

The Co-op has over 400 food stores and funeral homes across 16 counties in the UK, is headquartered in Manchester and has a revenue of £9.5b. 

The company has outlined a series of targets as part of the announcement, in its ongoing efforts to showcase its commitment to sustainability. This includes a 50% food waste reduction by 2025.

Central England Co-op’s commitment is already evident in some of the major milestones it has achieved in recent years:

  • Reducing refrigeration gas emissions by 69% since 2010
  • New stores use as little as 50% less electricity
  • Reducing food waste by 40% during the past three years from 2,445 tonnes in 2017 to 1,085 tonnes in 2020

 

Sustainable food systems must be achieved 

“We believe that the transformation of our food system is an ambition requiring the participation of all stakeholders throughout the value chain and their close co-operation”, said Luke Olly, Energy and Environment Lead. “This is why we shall engage in close coordination with our EU-level association Euro Coop for the effective promotion of high sustainability practices. We look forward to working closely with our EU partners to deliver this ambitious path to sustainable food systems.”

“Euro Co-op and our members fully endorse the Code’s aspirational objectives and today we step up to show leadership”, said Todor Ivanov, Euro Co-op Secretary-General. “Consumer co-operatives are sustainability frontrunners by way of innovation, investment and partnerships. We have continued to excel despite the raging pandemic. We are believers of co-operation and we stand ready to engage all stakeholders along the value chain in embracing higher sustainability performance. Policymakers’ role is crucial for providing an enabling environment so businesses could flourish and maximise their potential in attaining the EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy objectives. All food operators should be supported in making their contribution in line with their scale and business model or strategy. This is the beginning of a long journey and we are certain of our collective success.” 

 

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