The retailer said it hoped to achieve this target by 2025 through a range of measures. This included improving the availability of plant-based meat alternatives in its stores, making these products more affordable, working with its suppliers to create innovations in plant-based proteins and increasing the visibility of the products on shelves.
Tesco’s commitment to increasing the sales of plant-based meat alternatives coincided with its development of a wider set of sustainability measures developed alongside charity the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The measures have been devised to help halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket.
Tesco prioritized meat alternatives to limit the impact of livestock production on habitats such as the Amazon and Cerrado regions of Brazil, acknowledging this was was a major contributor to climate change.
“We know from our experience in tackling food waste that transparency and setting ambitious targets are the first steps towards becoming a more sustainable business,” said Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis.
“Our transparency on protein sales and our new sales target for meat alternatives gives us the platform to becoming more sustainable and will provide customers with even more choice.”
Lewis called on the food industry to follow in the retailer’s footsteps, starting with a commitment to increased transparency across the supply chain, with an emphasis on sustainability.
“We also call on the government to do more by helping to scale up innovations and create a level playing field to ensure companies drive sustainability in their supply chains,” he added.
Tesco said it planned to publish the sales of plant-based proteins as a percentage of overall protein sales every year. These measures will be integrated into Tesco and WWF’s Sustainable Basket Metric, which measures the environmental impacts of food production on: climate change; deforestation; sustainable diets; sustainable agriculture; marine sustainability; food waste; and packaging waste.
WWF chief executive Tanya Steele added: “Food businesses cannot have a sustainable future without transparency. They need to know where they are starting from in order to know where they are going.
“Our partnership with Tesco aims to halve the environmental footprint of the average shopping basket, but we need a sector-wide step-change in transparency and accountability to achieve the scale and pace of change that is so desperately needed. We ask all food businesses to join us on this journey.”
Tesco’s measures to improve plant-based sales:
- Availability: Introduce and grow plant-based meat alternatives across all its stores, with products across 20 different categories including ready meals, breaded meat alternatives, plant-based sausages, burgers, quiches, pies, party food.
- Affordability: continue to invest in value so that affordability is not a barrier to buying plant-based meat alternatives.
- Innovation: work with suppliers to bring new innovations to customers.
- Visibility: provide a meat alternative where a meat version is featured, for example Richmond sausages and Richmond plant-based sausages to feature together.