Asda Joins LEAF Marque for Sustainable Sourcing

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_ASDA
Image courtesy of Asda

Asda has initiated the implementation of LEAF Marque certification across its fresh produce, fruit, and vegetable supply chain in the United Kingdom to reinforce its commitment to environmental standards.

The LEAF Marque environmental assurance system offers independent, third-party verification for key aspects of sustainable farming practices, such as soil and water management, energy efficiency, waste management, carbon sequestration, energy use, and biodiversity enrichment.

The certification provides growers with a framework to assess their performance, identify areas of strength and weakness, and establish targets for improvement across their entire farm.

Asda has set a target for all its fresh produce growers in the UK to achieve LEAF Marque certification by May of next year and aims to have worldwide suppliers certified by the end of 2025. These improvements throughout the supply chain will contribute to the supermarket's overarching objective of becoming carbon net zero by 2040.

Jane Berry, Vice President and Managing Director of IPL, the organisation responsible for sourcing produce on behalf of Asda, expressed enthusiasm for working in collaboration with LEAF and their valued fresh produce suppliers to continuously improve and make a positive impact.

Asda's sustainability approach is rooted in the belief that protecting the environment and saving people money go hand in hand, acknowledging that customers are increasingly concerned about the climate and ecosystem emergency while also grappling with the cost-of-living crisis.

Berry stated that Asda is committed to aiming high and providing support to customers during this time while also remaining mindful of its responsibility to offer greener choices that are affordable.

Clare Mike, Director of Business Development at LEAF, praised LEAF Marque certification as a powerful catalyst for change, providing an effective framework for driving advancements in regenerative and sustainable farming practices globally with transparency, impartiality, and rigour. Mike highlighted that LEAF Marque, based on the principles of Integrated Farm Management, is facilitating incremental improvements at the individual farmer level, which collectively lead to significant reforms in food production.

Mike further commended Asda's ambitious sustainability goals, noting their willingness to embrace change and adapt to challenges as a signal of a time of transformation and positive change. She emphasised that in partnership with the determination and commitment of Asda's growers, real and lasting differences are being made in addressing the climate emergency and improving the sustainability of global farming and food systems.

LEAF expressed delight at Asda's adoption of the LEAF Marque certification to elevate their production standards to a higher level of sustainable farming excellence.

In 2021, LEAF announced a target for 85% of all UK fruit and vegetables to be grown to LEAF Marque Standards as part of their broader 10-year strategy to raise sustainability standards across all farming sectors.

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Source: Asda

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