Frequently asked questions
Q. Do you source meat from Brazil?
A. No – we were the first major UK retailer to stop sourcing meat from Brazil due to concerns about deforestation. Our fresh beef comes from the UK and Ireland.
Q. Do you source soy from deforestation areas?
A. Soy is highly traded and the food industry is still working to improve traceability down to regions and farms. We require soy from South America which cannot be traced by region to be covered by credits, as the crucial first step in our soy plan.
Our progress is published here.
Q. How much of your soy is deforestation free?
A. Our 2020 target is to achieve zero net-deforestation in our supply chain and we are on track to achieve this. In 2019, all the soy used as animal feed to produce our Tesco UK whole animal protein products was already certified through zero deforestation credits.
Q. Why do you have to use soy?
A. Soy is an important ingredient in animal feed due to its high protein content.
Q. Why did you change your pledge to stop sourcing soy linked to deforestation by 2025 instead of 2020?
A. In 2010, we committed to achieving zero net deforestation by 2020 through certification and we are on track to achieve this. Soy credits are an important starting point for stimulating market demand for sustainable soy. However, in 2018, we recognised that this wasn’t enough and we set an additional target to ensure that not only is our soy zero deforestation, but it comes from whole areas and regions that are verified as deforestation free. This was done openly and followed extensive consultation with experts and stakeholders including Greenpeace. This approach is recognised by experts as industry-leading.
Q. Will you stop buying meat from JBS, Moy Park and Tulip?
A. We do not source meat from JBS but we do source meat from two companies JBS recently acquired – Moy Park and Tulip.
These suppliers have been our longstanding partners for over 40 years and both meet our standards and are on track to meet our commitment under our UK zero deforestation soy transition plan.
However, we are pressing their owners, JBS, to make improvements across the whole of the company. These asks include:
- That they set out a credible roadmap by early 2021 for the roll-out of their Green Platform, announced on 23 September 2020, with annual progress independently verified as on-track by a credible third party.
- That the expansion of the JBS Green Platform in Phase 3 also includes other key biomes other than the Amazon, such as the Pantanal Wetlands and Cerrado region.
- That JBS confirms its commitment on zero deforestation cattle covers indirect suppliers at all stages.
- That they publicly support the Amazon Soy Moratorium which limits soy production to existing agricultural land, condemn illegal forest fires, and that their support for indigenous land rights is enshrined within the JBS Responsible Procurement Policy.
We will continue to review their progress on an annual basis.
Q. Are you going to set a meat reduction target?
A. While 74% of UK shoppers don’t want supermarkets to remove meat and we will always respect their choices, we recognise the whole country needs to reduce meat and dairy consumption. That’s why we are the only major supermarket to have publicly called for the need for a reduction in meat consumption.
Since 2018, we’ve been working hard with suppliers to drive plant-based innovation and choice, leading to increases in our meat alternative vegan protein products.
In September 2020, we also became the first UK retailer to commit to a public set of targets around this, including a commitment to increase sales of plant-based alternatives by 300% by 2025 from a 2018 baseline and to publish sales of plant-based proteins as a percentage of overall protein sales every year. Reducing meat and dairy consumption needs to be a wider societal effort and we hope these new commitments and transparency will encourage the whole of the food industry to make similar commitments.
Q. Do you have enough plant-based ranges?
A. We have the biggest range of plant-based products and alternative dairy products of any UK retailer – over 150 own brand products and a further 300 branded plant-based products, and we’re looking to increase this range further later this year as we work towards our new commitment to increase sales of plant-based alternatives by 300% by 2025 from a 2018 baseline.