January 2021

Meating the climate challenge: Why supermarkets must urgently cut their meat and dairy sales

To meet climate goals to remain below 1.5°C of warming, it is critical that food system emissions are addressed. Sustainable diets, with reduced meat and dairy consumption, is one significant way to meet these goals. However, if supermarkets – with their enormous influence on the food environment – do not urgently act, it is unlikely the UK will achieve the necessary rapid reductions in meat and dairy consumption to meet these climate goals. This brief makes the case for why UK retailers must take immediate and urgent action to support reduced meat and dairy consumption by reducing their offer and sales of meat and dairy, pointing to a range of evidence-based measures which could help retailers meet ambitious year on year targets to reduce UK meat and dairy consumption by at least half by 2030.

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