Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Retailing

‘Retail food’ is all food, other than restaurant food, that is purchased by consumers and consumed off-premise. Retailers have a major impact on the current and future direction of the food system through their influence on consumers (responding to and shaping demand), their suppliers and, via their economic power and lobbying efforts, over policy making. This influence can potentially be either positive or negative for sustainability across multiple dimensions – environment, nutrition and health, labour standards and working conditions and animal welfare. Retailers also generate a direct environmental footprint through their use of energy for store heating, lighting and refrigeration, and through their warehousing and transport operations. Some large retailers, particularly in European countries, now have voluntary sustainability policies in place and are engaging in the issues through various fora.

12 February 2015

The first progress report of A Better Retailing Climate initiative has been published. It describes how retailers since 2005 have improved their performance against the environmental targets set out in the initiative, and that they have:

30 January 2015

Two new papers from researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have analysed the portion sizes and nutritional contents (including calories, sodium, saturated fats and trans fats) of popular menu items served at three national fast-food chains between 1996 and 2013. The researchers found that average calories, sodium, and saturated fat stayed relatively constant, at high levels and the only decline seen was of trans fat of fries that took place between 2000-2009. The products analysed were: French fries, cheeseburgers, grilled chicken sandwich, and regular cola.

29 January 2015

McDonalds has announced that it will begin using “verified sustainable beef” in some of its hamburgers by 2016. In this article however, it is questioned “what exactly is so sustainable – or indeed verifiable – about the beef of the future”.

3 December 2014

The booklet The susDISH analysis method – Sustainability in the catering industry, taking account of both nutritional and environmental aspects in recipe planning is published by the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences of the Halle-Wittenberg University.

26 November 2014

The report Deforestation-free supply chains: From commitments to action, published by CDP, highlights ways in which industry can be part of tackling the deforestation crisis while still securing and maintaining access to their sources of profit.

26 November 2014

This study reveals that consumers tend to underestimate calorie counts for companies with positive corporate responsibility programs, and then consume more of the foods produced by them. The study suggests that consumers may infer (often incorrectly), that if the company is engaged in doing ‘good deeds’, their products are healthy. For the research, they split participant groups between two fictional product launches, one company with a positive CSR profile, and the other with neutral CSR, and determined that participants consuming products from the positive CSR profile, ate more. Furthermore, these participants also underestimated the consumed calories for the company with the positive CSR.

23 October 2014

This report, Closing the door on HFCs, documents the continued shift away from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the supermarket refrigeration sector. Now in its sixth year, EIA’s Chilling Facts reports have become an important resource used to disseminate information about progress in the shift away from HFC-based technology.

15 October 2014

Novel use of UK national data finds a growing gap between the prices of more and less healthy foods between 2002 and 2012. Healthy foods in 2012 were three times more expensive per calorie than less healthy foods.

Food prices in the UK have risen faster than the price of other goods in recent years, and this new study, which tracked the price of 94 key food and beverage items from 2002 to 2012, shows that the increase has been greater for more healthy foods, making them progressively more expensive over time.

25 September 2014

The Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) has launched a new 'labelling code', intended to ensure that consumers are sure about what environmental claims on fish and seafood mean. A new 'sourcing code' accompanies the labelling and ensures that the coalition members source their fish and seafood products responsibly.

30 July 2014

As part of a new food and drink buying standard,  UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that from 2017 all of central government will commit to source public sector food locally.

30 July 2014

This debate, held on 8 July 2014 and hosted by the Green Alliance, discussed the question “Feeding Britain: Can we do it sustainably?” It focused on how prepared companies are for changes in food supply and price shocks, how sustainability fits within the approaches they are currently using, and whether UK food security can really be delivered sustainably.

9 July 2014

special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) on Cooperatives and Alternative Food Systems Initiatives is now out.

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