Tesco has stepped up its support for a key commitment on transitioning to a sustainable food system and tackling water pollution with the roll out of its Nature Programme.
Designed to support suppliers and farmers in their shift to a nature positive food system, the programme will drive the supermarket’s efforts to scale up cutting-edge innovations in its supply chains, helping to reduce emissions and protect nature.
This will include promoting biodiversity monitoring technologies, as well as supporting the use of low carbon fertilisers. Tesco is also aiming to increase biodiverse habitats in its supply chains through nature corridors, riverbank planting and hedgerows, building on the work of its LEAF Marque-certified produce growers.
The programme will also help Tesco achieve its net zero targets, which were recently validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), including emissions relating to forests, land and agriculture (FLAG).
“The UK continues to be impacted by significant nature and biodiversity decline. We know the UK food system has a significant role to play, so its clear transformational change is needed to how we grow, produce and consume our food,” said Tesco chief commercial officer, Ashwin Prasad.
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The Nature Programme will focus on five key areas: protecting nature in sourcing landscapes, scaling innovation to support biodiversity, implementing a nature plan across its operations, leading industry research, and leading cross-sector engagement.
As part of the programme, Tesco will continue to support vital water stewardship work across the UK and internationally. It will also provide extra funding for WRAP’s Courtauld 2030 Water Roadmap, which aims to ensure 50% of the UK’s fresh food and drink is sourced from areas with sustainable water management by 2030.
“As the UK agriculture’s leading customer, we work with thousands of knowledgeable and committed suppliers, growers and producers who are passionate about protecting nature on their farms,” continued Prasad.
“We want to harness that passion to create a food system that will protect biodiversity and secure our own supply of affordable, healthy, and sustainable food.
“Our Nature Programme will provide our supply base with innovative and practical ways to protect and restore nature, including stepping up our support for vital on-the-ground action in water catchments across the UK.”
Building on Tesco’s partnership with WWF – which came to a formal end earlier this month – the retailer will continue to work alongside the conservation charity as part of its Retailers’ Commitment for Nature Group, as well as developing its own sustainability initiatives.