Sustainable sourcing

Sourcing our ingredients and raw materials sustainably.

Co-operate Report 2020

Sourcing the ingredients and raw materials we use can have a significant impact on the natural environment, whether that’s in waterways, agricultural land, soil or forests.

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Our Report

Download the sustainable sourcing Report section or the full Report to read more information about our work in this area:

Image - Fishermen preparing a net for a fishing vessel

We’re committed to caring for the environments our ingredients are sourced from. Where it drives change, we support credible certification and work with key partners to take a restorative approach to nature. As part of our commitment to responsible sourcing we’ve worked with stakeholders to identify 30 key ingredients, allowing us to focus actions on those areas with the greatest sourcing risk.

Aquaculture and fisheries

We work to conserve our oceans, fish and the livelihoods of our suppliers. We apply a risk assessment process to all our fish products, which ensures we continue to source seafood responsibly.

Forests and peatlands

We take a restorative approach to the forests where our ingredients come from.

Palm oil and soy production can impact communities, deforestation, climate change and habitat loss. To achieve a sustainable approach to sourcing, we engage across the industry and with environmental NGOs to understand the best approach and set clear policies. The advice from NGOs is to source responsibly, as this is the most effective way to drive change.

From 2021 we’re becoming the first UK retailer to ban the use of peat in bagged growing medium sold in our stores, and will map the scale of peat use in our supply chain.

  • We ensure that the wood and paper used in own-brand products for Co-op food comes from a responsible source and is of known origin. 99% comes from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or recycled sources (2019: 97%).

  • During 2020, 78% of the palm oil used in our products was segregated (2019: 73%)

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Fields and orchards

We work with producers and growers, focusing on protecting our precious natural resources, water, soil and biodiversity and building resilience in the changing climate.

Livestock

Respecting animal welfare is an important part of our work in agriculture. For all our Co-op branded fresh, frozen and prepared meat and poultry products, our minimum welfare standard, and our main focus is Red Tractor. For higher welfare, we use RSPCA Assured certifications or equivalent.

Read more about how we source the ingredients in our products as sustainably as possible.

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