The whole of the large distribution “constitutes a brake on the transition to a sustainable food”, in particular by “encouraging the overconsumption of meat and dairy products”, accuses Thursday, February 2 the federation of associations Réseau action climat (RAC) , also pinning down the public authorities.
The Climate Action Network studied for a year the actions of the main French supermarket chains (in order of market share E.Leclerc, Carrefour, Intermarché, Système U, Auchan, Lidl, Casino, Monoprix) on sustainable food and weather.
Result: “if some brands do better than others”, the best rated being Carrefour, “none has a score higher than 10/20”. The leader E.Leclerc is the least well rated. “Retail brands are now more of a brake than a driver of the food transition and the fight against climate change”, regrets the RAC in its report.
Stop promoting animal products
“Through their policies in terms of advertising and marketing, by highlighting certain products rather than others, the brands have significant power,” explains Benoît Granier, the network’s food manager. We have the idea that the consumer is sovereign and free to choose, but in addition to the economic constraints of his purchasing power, he is also constrained by the nature of the offer offered to him and by the distribution strategies. . »
In particular, the RAC asks brands to stop promoting products of animal origin or meat, such as nuggets, burgers or pizzas, “except for organic and Label Rouge products”, and to promote a more plant-based diet, ” in particular pulses and other products based on vegetable proteins of good nutritional quality”.
He also urges them to “stop depreciating the value of food and conveying the idea that food is an item of expenditure to be reduced as much as possible in order to consume more other types of products”.
Encourage the transition to sustainable food
“Mass distribution sends the message that the right price is the lowest price, but this leads to a depreciation of the value of food”, observes Benoît Granier.
However, the private sector is not the only one implicated: the RAC also asks the public authorities to further encourage the transition to sustainable food, in particular by making “more financially accessible to products resulting from sustainable agricultural models, including Organic Agriculture “.
This happens, he believes, by increasing social minima to strengthen the financial capacities of households, or by reducing VAT on fruits and vegetables and “organic and fair” products.
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