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How does your food shop affect the climate?

Can your choices really make any difference?

Do you think much about your carbon footprint as you add items to the trolley? Is it just another thing to consider alongside rising food prices? Are there any ways of making things easier for consumers that might want to be more environmentally aware?

Do we need behaviour prompts?

An online grocer in Norway seems to have tapped into a way to reduce carbon intensive products. How? It’s quite easy. All receipts now offer information about the environmentally friendly shop that has just been done. It’s a case of a mindfulness prompt. When we are made aware of our behaviours many people just need this as a prompt for change.

Have behaviours changed?

The Oda online grocer has seen a drop in red meat sales as customers are now aware of the effect of their choices. This might work for an online retailer, but local butchers will wonder why people are buying online when many local meat purveyors are stocked by grass fed, local beef whose carbon footprint is very low. This doesn’t mean that the receipt idea is a bad one but like everything there are layers of complexity. Image: No Revision

Sustainability is one aspect to this argument

However, the food industry will need to tackle over consumption as a priority. It is more than likely we will need a complete change in buying habits. Most of us know that we buy too much, and that over consumption is probably a bigger issue than we might want to admit.

Yet, anything we can do to increase mindfulness is a good thing. The days of blindly filling trolleys is probably a historic behaviour, especially with fuel prices and the general rate of inflation rising.

Oda not only prints informative receipts it also stops special offers on less sustainable goods and also ensures cardboard is used instead of plastic for deliveries. Plastic bags have been struck off.

Louise Fuchs, sustainability director at Oda, said that customers were struggling to amend their habits because they just weren’t aware of what products were more climate friendly than others. Therefore the company listened to their consumer base and did what they could to align with need. She was also keen to point out that they were not in the habit of coercing customers into buying certain goods or even preach about what not to buy. They simply produced climate receipts to fulfil a specific requirement. Image Maria Lin Kim

“We do not want to point fingers "

Neither do we wish tell our customers what to buy and what to avoid – climate receipts arrived because of what our customers asked for and each item is given a climate rating. They did this by working in partnership with Cicero that also works in Norway and researches into climate. They were instrumental in grouping products into the various emission groups.

So, has it made any difference at all?

According to Fuchs, people are buying differently. There has been an increase in the consumption of fresh fruit and veg for example. In addition,1in 5 burgers is now vegan and vegetarian fare is much more in favour. Lentil soup now reaches the top ten of products sold when in the past it was far less popular. Image nrd

Oda are trail blazers and expect many more food retailers to gently nudge us into reappraising our buying habits with the climate in mind. Do you think it’s a good idea? I’d be interested in your opinions.

Meanwhile if you need help with your executive recruitment needs then please do get in touch. We would love to have a conversation with absolutely no obligation.


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