A week in news: hope for the Amazon reignites – the latest food and drink headlines 31 October – 4 November
There have been highs and lows in food industry news this week. On the one hand, large parts of the world have once again been plunged into food insecurity because of the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war. And in the UK, newly appointed PM Rishi Sunak pushed back the Budget scheduled for Halloween – leaving the public to continue dealing with the cost of living crisis unsupported.
Nevertheless, good news for the future of sustainable food came in the form of politician Luiz Lula winning the presidential race in Brazil and dethroning Bolsonaro. Additionally, foodservice giant Deliveroo has also thrown a considerable amount of money behind sustainability. Here are this week’s biggest news headlines:
Lula’s win in Brazil offers hope for Amazon protection
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s narrow win in the Brazilian presidential race this week raised the hopes of environmentalists that the Amazon will be properly protected against deforestation. Lula, who was previously President between 2003 and 2010, beat out Jair Bolsonaro – the right-wing politician who has repeatedly allowed the rainforest to be exploited during his term.
During Lula’s first time in office deforestation fell by 80%, and analysis by Carbon Brief suggests his second term could bring the practice down by 86% before the end of the decade. This would be a decisive and important action in support of the environment, and encourage Brazil – one of the world’s largest meat producers – to explore new avenues for sustainable food production.
WWF and Tesco call for mandatory farm food waste reporting as millions of tonnes lost
Millions of tonnes of edible food are going to waste before even leaving the farm, according to a joint report from WWF and Tesco. It is estimated the value of this loss is around £1.8 billion, and that it contributes 10% of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced by the UK’s farming industry.
In response to these damning statistics, the two organisations have devised six recommendations which they believe must be implemented as soon as possible by the Government. Find out what these suggestions are.
Russia backs out of UN grain deal
Russia once again threw global food security into uncertainty, after officials announced the country would be reneging on its promise to clear the Black Sea for Ukrainian exports. The deal over the exports was struck over the summer, with help from Turkey and the UN.
Russia says a drone strike on its Crimean naval fleet is the reason behind its backing out of the deal. The strike, which the country says was carried out with help from the British Navy, caused minor damage to two Russian naval vessels both involved in protecting Ukrainian grain shipments. It is unknown how this development will affect the global food system, but US President Joe Biden has called the action “purely outrageous”.
The Co-op dims its lights to fight energy inflation
The Co-op announced this week that one of the ways it is seeking to keep running costs down is by dimming the lights across hundreds of its stores. Energy is one of the chain’s biggest outlays, and bills can run into the tens of millions of pounds, it said.
The measure is first being trialled at 500 stores across the country – around a fifth of all locations owned and operated by the brand in total. Balancing energy costs is an issue facing many food businesses right now. Learn how others are faring.
Deliveroo launches £2.5M sustainable packaging fund
Food delivery company Deliveroo revealed the news this week that it was setting aside £2.5 million to help companies make the shift to more sustainable packaging. The investment will cover all environmentally friendly packaging items from its packaging store, encouraging its restaurant partners to make green choices.
The scheme will also provide Deliveroo restaurant partners with a 50% subsidy on the cost of environmentally friendly packaging, such as those made from cardboard, recyclable paper, recycled plastic or anything which is home compostable.
Price of UK’s fresh produce up by 13.3% year on year as food inflation hits new record
The price of fresh food in the UK is up 13.3% compared to October 2021, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show.
This price hike recorded last month is well above the three-month average rate of 12% and is the largest percentage increase on record for fresh food, according to the BRC.
General food inflation accelerated to 11.6% in October – a jump from 10.6% in September, and also the largest inflation rate to be seen in the category. Find out more.