Raw materials that do not damage the forests
Tackling deforestation plays a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Carrefour designs and markets products which enable each and everyone – on a daily basis – to ensure that they are using a range of certified goods and farm products. Very early on, Carrefour set itself the ambitious target of reaching zero deforestation by 2020. This initiative is being supported by the WWF, an international NGO that has been one of Carrefour’s partners since 1998.
Every day, Carrefour sells and designs food products that are the results of sustainable forest management. In order to provide its consumers with these products, very early on, Carrefour set itself the target of reaching zero deforestation by 2020. The initiative has been supported by the WWF, an international NGO that has been one of Carrefour’s partners since 1998. A number of areas have been defined, factoring in the two main causes of deforestation: logging operations and their derivatives, and the transformation of land previously used for forestry into farmland.
For food products, Carrefour has adopted or is in the process of testing a number of solutions, depending on raw materials: palm oil, soya, beef.
Sustainable palm oil: Palm oil is the most widely consumed food oil in the world, and its production is inextricably intertwined with a number of major environmental and social issues. Its cultivation plays a major part in deforestation – in Indonesia and Malaysia in particular.
Carrefour substitutes palm oil for a different oil whenever doing so improves the nutritional qualities of its products, depending on the local situation and consumers’ expectations.
For products in which palm oil still needs to be used, Carrefour has committed to using palm oil that is more sustainable: by 2015, all of the oil used in Carrefour’s own-brand products will be in compliance with sustainability criteria. In order to ensure this, Carrefour is using the RSPO, a multi-player platform that has established a third-party certification system to ensure greater respect for forests and local populations. Currently, some 1500 of Carrefour’s own-brand products that are listed by the European purchasing centre help bring about production that is more sustainable in compliance with the RSPO’s standard. Across the various countries in which the Group operates, 73% of the palm oil used in Carrefour’s own-brand products contributes to RSPO-certified production.
In June 2014, Carrefour adopted new supply criteria for palm oil, the aim being to more effectively protect forests and peat bogs – zones that are rich in carbon and which emit significant quantities of greenhouse gases if they are converted.
In order to implement this new approach and encourage the most stringent practices, Carrefour has pledged to apply these new criteria for 50 products starting in 2015.
- Brazilian Soya: Soya is one of the most traded agricultural products in the world. Its grains – which are rich in protein – are now essential in cattle rearing; and the oil derived from it is the second most consumed oil in the world after palm oil. Soya production is therefore a major factor in deforestation – in the Amazonian forest in particular. Carrefour has been supporting the soybean moratorium since it was introduced in Brazil in 2006 – a measure designed to regulate the conditions under which land can be used for the farming economy. The measure is a tripartite agreement between NGOs, the Brazilian government and farmers and has been introduced to protect the Amazonian biome. In 2014, Carrefour was involved in discussions about when this moratorium would be lifted. Following these negotiations, the decision was taken to renew the agreement until May 2016. Between now and this date, Carrefour will promote dialogue among the various players involved in the soybean supply line, the aim being to encourage the development of a sustainable solution based on a multiplayer governance system.
- Rainforest certified beef: Converting farmland for cattle rearing is the main cause of deforestation in Amazonia (Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance). A certification system has been introduced by the NGO Rainforest Alliance. It is the result of a partnership between various organisations involved in the production chain – from the farm to supermarket stores. This certification guarantees compliance with a number of criteria pertaining to animal well-being, resource preservation and respect for workers’ rights. Carrefour has been a certified company on the supply line since 2013 and was the first retailer to sell Rainforest Alliance-certified beef in Brazil.
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