WWF UK CEO
16 Nov 2018
Every time I step into my local Tesco I’m struck by the choice on offer.
From fruit and veg to meat and drink, the aisles are stocked with produce from all around the world.
While I may not have to think about what’s available, I do think about where it’s come from – how it was grown, produced and shipped.
And I’m not the only customer interested in how groceries have reached my basket. Shoppers are increasingly concerned about the way we produce what we eat - that it is responsible for almost 60% of global biodiversity loss and up to 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s a worrying truth, but the global food system is broken and is taking a huge toll on nature. Deforestation and the way we produce and consume food are major factors in the rapid devastation of precious habitats and animals. WWF’s Living Planet Report shows wildlife populations declined on average by 60% between 1970 and 2014.
These aren’t simply statistics that, while regrettable, can be seen as the price of human progress and rising living standards. Our planet is our life-support system – we cannot thrive if it does not.
And we now find ourselves facing the triple challenge of needing to feed a global population projected to rise to 10 billion people, avoiding more loss of nature through conversion of land for food production and stabilising the climate.
It sounds frightening, and the clock is ticking, but the fate of the planet is not a done deal. We are the first generation to fully realise our impact on the world and the last that can do anything about it.
That’s why the new ground-breaking partnership between Tesco and WWF is a very exciting opportunity: world-leading retailers and environmentalists joining forces to save our planet.
Our partnership is focused on working together to deliver affordable, healthy and sustainable food for all customers – ultimately halving the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket.
By helping Tesco customers eat more sustainably, working together to restore nature in food production and leading the way in eliminating food waste from field to fork, we will achieve a major change in the health of both people and planet.
We both know now is not the time to shirk our responsibility and we have a critical role to play in helping to drive leadership on the global stage to restore nature.
I can’t wait to see the results.