The Food Foundation has urged supermarkets to disclose plant-based and healthy food sales data and targets.
The organisation demanded more transparency from retailers as it published a report claiming the sector was “lagging behind” on action needed to meet the UK’s net zero targets.
The Food Foundation’s Plating Up Progress report said faster progress towards plant-based and healthier diets “will be vital if the UK is to shift to a net zero carbon economy and hit targets for drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions”.
“Our food system is in crisis, and is in desperate need of change to ensure that the industry is doing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work towards the UK’s net zero targets,” said The Food Foundation’s executive director Anna Taylor.
“We need all food businesses to start setting targets that evidence the transition of their businesses to healthier and more sustainable food sales.”
However, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are the only two to report on their percentage sales of plant-based protein products, including meat alternatives and vegetables, versus animal protein products.
Only Tesco had a target to increase sales of plant-based proteins – by 300% by 2025 – while none had set targets to shift sales away from animal sources of protein.
The Food Foundation has issued a series of recommendations to government, businesses and investors based the findings. It is calling on government to ensure mandatory reporting on healthy food sales, as recommended in Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy report, is passed into legislation.
“The issues facing the food industry are too wide-ranging and complex for individual companies to solve in isolation,” Taylor added.
“That is why we need government and investors to help drive this change towards regular and accurate reporting, to help food businesses and retailers shift to healthier, more sustainable practices.”