Blog: Sustainability is sexy
Dean Best | 19 June 2008
Sustainability is sexy.
No, you read that correctly. The message from here in Munich is that sustainability is sexy.
According, that is, to Mark Price, the managing director of UK retailer Waitrose.
Price – the self-styled “Chubby Grocer” – took his turn to chew the fat over the issue dominating the CIES World Food Business Summit this week.
This morning, Price outlined Waitrose’s work on sustainability and, by and large, it was clear to see that the retailer has made some genuine strides on issues like supporting farmers and local sourcing.
Sure, Price had an interest in standing up and walking us through the Waitrose sustainability message but credit should go to the company for the progress it has made.
However, there are a couple of key differences in the way Waitrose works as a company that determines its commitment to sustainability.
Firstly, the company’s ownership structure – it is, in effect, owned by its workers – enables the retailer to take a longer-term view than, perhaps, its publicly-listed rivals.
Secondly, much of Waitrose’s work on sustainability has been driven by what it shoppers want. And, generally, a shopper at Waitrose has deeper pockets, is more affluent and is more “switched-on” to green issues than the average shopper on a UK High Street.
The fact that shoppers at Waitrose are more willing to pay higher prices helps the retailer invest in its sustainability agenda.
Elsewhere, though, the outlook is more uncertain.
As concern over the UK economy mounts, and as consumers tighten their belts, how easy will it be for other retailers to fund the up-front costs needed to pursue a more sustainable business?
And how pertinent are those issues now to a more cash-strapped shopper?
just-food reports on the latest happenings at the CIES World Food Business Summit, where the food sector's leading figures have met to discuss the issues affecting the global industry. Read on to disc...
The BBC turned to just-food today for insight on the price dispute between Tesco and Unilever....
Just weeks after buying UK turkey processor Bernard Matthews from administration, food tycoon Ranjit Boparan has struck a similar deal....
- Price an underlying tension across European FMCG
- Analysis: Tyson's shrewd investment in Beyond Meat
- Interview: UK trade body on Brexit's policy impact
- Danone's Q3 sales - what the analysts say
- It won't just be Unilever to push for Brexit hikes
- Nestle lowers outlook on "softer environment"
- Bel takes majority stake in MOM Group
- Mars launches Maltesers in the US
- Metropoulos invests in Utz Quality Foods
- UK yogurt makers call for added sugar "clarity"
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Omega-3 in Food and Beverage:Time for a Reboot?
- Packaged Food: Quarterly Statement Q3 2016
- Global Food Packaging: Innovating for Greater Convenience and Quality Image
- Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review