Co-op launches climate change commitments

Co-op is partnering with Amazon and extending its robot deliveries as it aims to more than double online sales by the end of the year.30 The Original Factory Shop concessions will open inside its food stores over the next 15 months.
500 drone robots will be delivering to customers by the end of the year.
// Co-op makes commitment to spend 0.7% of its pre-tax profit to international aid
// The retailer has partnered with Fairtrade Africa and Fairtrade Foundation
// Co-op will aim to ensure producers in its supply chain are being supported

Co-op has launched a new pledge which will see it spend 0.7 per cent of its pre-tax profit to international aid.

The retailer has teamed up with Fairtrade Africa and Fairtrade Foundation to support producers combating the effects of climate change.

Co-op makes the announcement as it launches its latest report – Climate Justice for People and Planet – which calls for increased business accountability amid the climate crisis.

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The retailer will aim to ensure producers in its supply chain, that are already seeing the first-hand impact of climate change, are being supported.

It expects that the total area of land suitable for coffee growing will have halved by 2050 due to climate change.

The announcement follows the news of the government’s decision to not return to its world-leading commitment of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income – currently reduced to 0.5 per cent, which is a cut of almost £4 billion – for international aid and development.

Co-op lobbied 650 MPs urging them to vote against the government’s motion by sharing its new report to show how the reduced funding will impact international communities.

“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, we are reliant on the global food system for the food we enjoy here in the UK,” Co-op Food chief executive, Jo Whitfield said.

“However, the reality is that for many of our suppliers the climate crisis is as immediate and pressing as the impact of Covid-19.

“It’s crucial that we ensure producers in low income countries receive adequate support to cover the cost of adapting to climate change and transitioning to low carbon production.

“Globally, 2020 was the joint hottest year on record, and 2011-2020 was the hottest decade recorded.

“We are disappointed in the government’s decision not to return to its 0.7 per cent commitment.

“However, it’s not just government who has a part to play in investing in climate resilience and adaptation, businesses like ours do too. That is why will continue spending in excess of 0.7 per cent of pre-tax profit to international investment and encourage other retailers to follow given their international supply chains.

“We must work for a just transition, as we recognise that climate change is a human issue as much as it is an environmental one.

“Our partnership with Fairtrade Africa will see long term investment to support producers to adapt and mitigate climate change and ensure their livelihoods for the future, all of which is made possible thanks to Co-op members and customers.”

Co-op’s new long-term commitment and investment with Fairtrade Africa will help to drive forward Fairtrade’s climate strategy and generate further action on the ground, benefitting producers at the front line of the climate crisis.

The new commitment forms part of Co-op’s 10-point climate change action plan which it unveiled in May.

The plan sets out blueprint for Co-op to achieve net zero for its direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2040, with one of the action points to help suppliers on the front line of the climate crisis.

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