Whilst UK supermarkets are beginning to compete against each other on ethical aspects, the rise of discounters Aldi and Lidl could threaten the progress made, according to a new report.
In a guide Ethical Consumer ranks 11 supermarkets on their ethical and environmental ratings and looks at how the price war between supermarkets could affect this. Over the last two years Aldi and Lidl have both seen their market share grow significantly, with neither particularly focussing on ethical claims. The guide notes that other sectors, such as clothing, clearly show how price competition can “exert a downward pressure on ethics”.
However, the guide notes that the discount stores rank mid-table when it comes to ethics. Additionally, scandals, such as horsemeat being sold as beef and the prawn industry being involved in slavery, have affected mainstream stores as well as Aldi and Lidl.
“What we see here is a global food system of such size, dynamism and complexity that attempts to maintain ethical standards are, at best, running to keep up. [In the rankings] Aldi and Lidl rank mid-table of a poor-scoring bunch, rather than noticeably behind,” the guide adds.
The Fairtrade Foundation also notes that whilst low prices may have enticed shoppers for the discounters, they are increasingly promoting quality and ethics in a bid to keep the customers they gained during the recession.
Louise Valducci, from the Fairtrade Foundation, said, “With growing influence comes growing responsibility. The ‘big four’ are slashing prices in a bid to compete with the discounters. As the price wars intensify, there is a risk that ethical commitments might be reconsidered, or suppliers might be squeezed, in a race to sell at the cheapest possible price.
“But if they champion fairtrade and other ethical produce, Aldi and Lidl have the opportunity to show that good value for consumers and a fair deal for producers can go hand-in-hand.”
The Co-operative and Marks & Spencer were named as the best buys by Ethical Consumer. Despite topping the table, Waitrose only received a middle rating for the management of workers’ rights in its supply chain, meaning it missed out.
The ‘big four’ – Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons – made up the bottom of the table.
Photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr
Like our Facebook Page
Can You Use Your PC In an Eco-Friendly Manner?
How Pain Management Hurts the Environment, and What You Can Do to Help
4 Countries That Have Banned Single-Use Plastic
What Is Your Carbon Footprint and How Can You Reduce it?
How Business Leaders Can Positively Impact Water Scarcity
Plant-Based Protein Coffee is Eco-Friendly & Healthy
Eco-Friendly Restaurants That Are Bringing the Outside Inside
5 Environmental Benefits of Custom Manufacturing
How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Office
Benefits of Starting an Eco-Friendly eCommerce Business
Brian Sheth and Sheth Sangreal Foundation Donate $15 Million to Global Wildlife Conservation
Eco-Friendly Gardeners Can Make Compost from Organic Waste
8 Great Tips to Find an Eco-Conscious Moving Company
Can Employers Help the Planet with Work from Home Policies?
Creating a Green Basement Environment for a Healthier Home
Switching to an Electric Car to Help the Environment? Here’s How to Find the Cheapest Insurance
More People Are Practicing Eco-Conscious Lawn-Care
Choosing the Best Air Filter as Pollution Levels Worsen
9 Tips to Write Stellar Papers as an Environmental Science Major
Why You Need to Know These Hard Facts About Ethical Investing
- Energy3 months ago
How To Choose the Right Solar Inverter for Your Home?
- Energy3 months ago
How to Choose the Best Solar Panel for Your Home
- Environment10 months ago
Importance of Using a Water Purifier in an Area with High Pollution
- Environment3 months ago
Reduce Industry Footprints with Sustainable Material Swaps