Archive for Waitrose
www.independent.co.uk 12th April 2011
In one of the most successful environmental campaigns in recent history, the way British supermarkets source their tuna has been radically overhauled. Morrisons is the last major UK supermarket to announce a ban on purse seining around fish-aggregating devices, or FADs, effective in 2013. The announcement, which brings Morrisons in line with the two other major British supermarkets Tesco and Asda targeted in a national campaign to bring an end to the practice. The drive to stop the use of FADs was largely led by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Greenpeace. Prior to their work, only Sainsburys, Marks and Spencers, and Waitrose sourced their tuna by the more sustainable pole and line method of fishing. FADs are floating islands that attract large shoals of tuna. They also attract other species though including other fish, sharks, dolphins, and turtles. Large fishing boats then scoop everything aboard using a purse net. All those species that are not tuna are then discarded overboard dead. This is called ‘by-catch’. The UK is the second biggest consumer of tuna after the USA.
www.guardian.co.uk 28th January 2011
Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Channel 4 documentary on the problems of current fishing practices has been a fantastic success. 600,000 have signed his petition to make fishing practices more sustainable and big retailers have reported large increases in sales of sustainably sourced fish. However, concerns have been voiced on the solutions put forward in the program. By simply diversifying the type of fish we eat, we are not necessarily reducing the impact on heavily fished species such as cod and plaice. In fact, since the program aired this month (it can be seen here on Channel 4 OD), British supermarkets Waitrose and Marks and Spencer announced an increase in fish sales of 15% and 25%. The UK already consumes far more fish than its fish stocks are able to support and the country’s fishing industry relies on imported species for 5 months of the year. By simply asking people to eat a wider variety of fish, Hugh and his team, despite the great work they have done, have not tackled the heart of the problem: we need to eat less fish. The population of the UK consume, on average 20kg of fish every year. That is half of the Spanish average and a third of the Portuguese, but still much more than the global average. With three-quarters of the EU’s fish stocks overexploited, encouraging more people to eat fish, whatever the species, is unlikely to help the problem with overfishing.
Sources: http://www.independent.co.uk 15th July 2o10
Waitrose beat other UK supermarkets, such as Sainsburys, Marks and Spencers, Co-op and Morrisons, to be named as the compassionate supermarket of the year in this year’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards. The examining body, Compassion in World Foods, scored Waitrose highly is such issues as “stocking densities, freedom to express natural behaviour and the overall well-being, and praised its standards for pigs, chicken and farmed fish”. Two other main awards went to Morrisons (Best-Improved Supermarket) and Sainsburys (Best Volume Supermarket).
Sources: The National Geographic Summer Edition 2010
Supermarkets are experimenting with using lighter glass bottles for certain wines. The move is being promoted by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and has caused Tesco to launch ‘the lightest ever wine bottle’. Weighing in at 300g (the average is 500g) the bottle will reduce the company’s annual glass usage by 560 tonnes. Its usage is currently limited to Tesco’s own Australian Red Non-Vintage wines. Waitrose, too, released their own Virtue wines last year. The bottles consist of 60% recycled glass and are lighter than the average bottle. The wine is also shipped in bulk (currently from Chile) with all bottling taking place in the UK. There are certain hurdles that have to be overcome in the future though. Heavy bottles tend to be viewed as being more upmarket and prestigious. Furthermore, much of the wine sold in supermarkets is bottled outside of the UK and tightly controlled by local laws (such as the Appellation d’Origine Controlee).