In an effort to raise its environmental standards, Asda has started using LEAF Marque certification across the entirety of its fresh produce fruit and vegetable supply base in the United Kingdom.
The environmental assurance system known as LEAF Marque offers independent and third-party verification in key areas of sustainable farming practise.
These key areas include management of soil and water, energy efficiency, waste management, carbon sequestration, energy consumption, and the enhancement of biodiversity.
Growers have access to a framework that will assist them in monitoring their performance, determining their strengths and weaknesses, and establishing goals for overall farm-wide improvement as a result.
By May of the following year, all of Asda’s fresh produce growers in the United Kingdom will have earned LEAF Marque certification, and the retailer’s global suppliers will do so by the end of 2025.
The supermarket will be able to get closer to its target of being carbon net zero by the year 2040 because to the improvements made across the whole supply chain.
“We have always known that we couldn’t go on this journey alone,” said Jane Berry, Vice President and Managing Director of IPL, which sources produce on behalf of Asda.
“So it is fantastic to work in tandem with LEAF and our valued fresh produce suppliers who are committed to continually improving and making a difference,” she added.
“Our strategy for achieving sustainability is predicated on the steadfast belief that preserving the natural world and helping people save money are two sides of the same coin.
We are aware that the emergency affecting the climate and ecology is at the forefront of our customers’ concerns, but we also recognise that many of them are struggling with the issue involving the cost of living.
“We are determined to aim high and do all that we can to support them during this time, without losing sight of our responsibilities to offer greener choices that don’t cost the earth.”
“LEAF Marque certification is a powerful catalyst for change and one of the most effective frameworks for mobilising advances in more regenerative, sustainable farming across the globe with transparency, impartiality, and rigour,” clarified Clare Mike, Director of Business Development at LEAF.
It is accelerating incremental advances at an individual farmer level, which, collectively, are driving major reforms in food production. These improvements are being driven by the concepts of Integrated Farm Management, which apply to the entire farm.
“It’s fantastic to see Asda setting ambitious goals, particularly in light of the fact that customers are placing a greater emphasis on sustainable practises, and the green agenda is gaining traction.
Their openness to new experiences and capacity for adjustment in the face of adversity is a strong indicator that we are entering an era of transformation and progress.
Together with the resolve and dedication of their producers, we are making significant and enduring contributions in the effort to address the climate emergency and the viability of farming and food systems around the world.
“We couldn’t be happier that Asda has chosen to elevate their production standards to the next level of sustainable farming excellence by adopting the LEAF Marque,” said a spokesperson for the company.
As part of the organization’s larger 10-year strategy to raise the “sustainability bar” across all farming sectors, LEAF has declared a target for the year 2021 that will require 85 percent of all fruit and vegetables cultivated in the United Kingdom to be grown more sustainably to LEAF Marque Standards. This aim will be met by the end of 2021.