Feedback wins right to challenge gov food strategy as it throws doubt on Tesco’s net zero plans

Feedback has won the right to challenge the government’s National Food Strategy at the same time as it  attended Tesco’s AGM to throw doubt on the retailer’s net zero plans.

Campaigners from the environmental NGO successfully challenged the government at the Court of Appeal last Friday (16 June) for its failure to include recommendations on reducing meat and dairy consumption in its National Food Strategy.

The recommendations, which were made by Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, included targets such as reducing meat consumption by 30% and an expansion of free school meals.

When the strategy was published last year, under the leadership of then prime minister Boris Johnson, the government did not take up the suggestions.

The environmental campaign group demanded a judicial review of the strategy, arguing that the government’s failure to act on the recommendations amounted to a disregard for duties to cut carbon emissions, including those set out in the Climate Change Act 2008.

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DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the department which drafted the strategy, said that it was not bound by the act but the court granted permission for the review, saying the issues raised were important.

In a LinkedIn post Feedback executive director Carina Millstone said she was “beyond proud” of the Feedback team following the decision.

“We will now have a full Judicial Review of the government’s rubbish Food Strategy which will hopefully compel the government to start listening to the advice of its own expert climate advisors – starting with putting in place measures to reduce harmful meat and dairy and promote healthy and sustainable diets,” she continued.

Campaigners from Feedback also attended the Tesco AGM on Friday, demanding more information about its net zero strategy, asking it to publish emissions data and set meat and dairy reduction targets.

The retailer is aiming to hit net zero by 2050 globally, across all three scopes, although an earlier date of 2035 has been set for UK-based business operations, but it is unclear exactly how the UK’s largest supermarket intends to achieve those reductions.

Feedback is asking Tesco to disclose Scope 3 emissions by product type, amid fears that it is relying too heavily on energy-related initiatives and electric transport, with little focus on supply chain emissions for products.

Climate crisisNature and the environmentNewsPolicy

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