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Since the end of 2016, we have been proud to source 100% of our bananas from farms that are either Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade certified.
Bananas and plantains are produced in more than 123 countries worldwide and are one of the top ten crops globally in terms of yield produced, area occupied and calories provided. The Cavendish variety, which is the type of banana most commonly sold in Europe, comes from warm climates with limited winds such as Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Export revenues from bananas contribute significantly to the local economies of these regions and, as a whole, the sector provides employment for thousands of people. By ensuring that all the bananas are independently certified we are working hard to support sustainable production methods which conserve natural resources and promotes community development.
We are committed to sourcing our own-brand black, green and rooibos tea from either UTZ, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance schemes.
Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Every year we sell over ten thousand tonnes of tea, from our Gold and Red Label blends to our speciality single origin teas from Assam and Ceylon. Generally, tea is produced on either large estates or smallholder farms across Eastern Africa and Asia and is blended together into the products we sell. There are several sustainability challenges facing global tea production, including biodiversity loss, soil erosion and low incomes for people employed within the industry. We are working closely with recognised schemes to ensure that tea producers within our supply chains receive adequate training and support in these key areas, helping to secure a sustainable future for tea producers around the world.
Over 120 of the products that we sell contain cocoa, which represents more than 5% of our total range. We are proud that, since April 2017, 100% of the cocoa we have sold has come from third party sustainably certified sources.
Cocoa is a valuable crop which is essential to the livelihoods of 40 - 50 million people. Produced in 62 countries worldwide, cocoa’s climate requirements mean that production is limited to within 20 degrees of the equator. 62% of the world’s cocoa is now grown in Africa, with the largest producing countries being Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The cocoa sector, however, is facing several challenges, including poor soil fertility, aging tree stocks and deforestation. We recognise the importance of sustainable cocoa production, helping farmers to develop good agricultural practices and mitigate against climate change. Through our commitment to sourcing 100% of our cocoa from certified sustainable sources we are playing our part in making sustainable production the norm.
100% of the palm oil, palm kernel oil and derivatives used in our products comes from from sustainably certified sources.
Working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the Retailer Palm Oil Group we are taking a collaborative approach to supporting sustainable production and creating market demand.
Palm oil is used in a range of food products such as margarine, biscuits and bread. It is a highly versatile oil crop with 80% of global production taking place in Malaysia and Indonesia. Through our commitment to sourcing palm oil from RSPO certified sources we ensure that growers commit to principles of environmental responsibility, the conservation of natural resources and transparency. Through our annual supplier review we are able to track sustainable palm oil usage, including whether palm oil is sourced through mass balance or segregated supply chain models.
We have committed to selling 100% of our eggs from cage-free hens by 2025, and ensuring that all of our free range organic eggs are RSPCA Assured.
In the UK, two main systems are used in the production of eggs: enriched cages and free range. The conditions of these systems vary in terms on space, feeding and activity range. Lidl intends to phase out the eggs from caged hens, however we recognise the significant investment made by British egg suppliers in transitioning to enriched caged systems in 2012. We have therefore set timescales that are challenging yet realistic for the industry to achieve, while still meeting the expectations of our customers and the wider public. In addition to this, we offer a range organics eggs, all of which are RSPCA assured.
125 million people worldwide depend on coffee production. We are committed to ensuring the coffee we sell is sourced from sustainable sources and are working with the Rainforest Alliance and the Fairtrade Foundation to certify our range.
For many people, having a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning is an essential part of their daily routine. Coffee is also one of the world's most traded commodities and around 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihoods. As a major retailer we are aware of our responsibility to ensure that the coffee we sell is sourced in a sustainable manner that improves working conditions and tackles wider social challenges. To do this, we work closely with recognised third-party schemes such as the Fairtrade Foundation and Rainforest Alliance to certify our products, and are a long standing member of the global coffee platform which is an initiative that enables the coffee sector to accelerate its sustainability journey.