// The supermarket will stop the use of copper-based fungicides on its organic fresh potatoes
Waitrose has become the first major retailer to sign up to The UK Robust Potato Pledge.
The move comes as the retailer looks to move away from the use of copper-based fungicides on its organic fresh potatoes in order to combat late blight phytophthora.
The supermarket said it will achieve this by committing to grow and sell only resistant or “robust” organic fresh potatoes by 2026, which will remove the need to use potentially harmful copper fungicides.
John Lewis Partnership director of ethics and sustainability Marija Rompani said: “With COP26 on the horizon we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our impact on nature and biodiversity,”
“This pledge is a great opportunity for us to help reduce our environmental impact through innovation and we hope that through this leadership, and the leadership of our producers, the rest of the industry will follow suit.”
The commitment has been co-ordinated by the Soil Association.
The group’s horticultural advisor, Hugh Blogg, said the pledge had the potential to “unite supply chains in the organic potato sector”.
“Innovative breeding programmes have had huge success at establishing varieties that are blight resistant, while still providing all the qualities that make potatoes a delicious choice for shoppers,” said Blogg.
“The backing of key retailers to stock these products is an exciting next step in the journey towards a more resilient and sustainable potato sector.”