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UK Supermarkets attacked for being environmentally unfriendly

25 January 2007

UK - Supermarkets are environmentally unfriendly and more should be done to safeguard local food producers, according to a Kent Euro-MP.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for the South East, said they were "inherently unsustainable". She was talking in the wake of a report by the Competition Commission, which expressed concern over the way in which only a few supermarket chains now dominate the UK.

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons control almost three quarters of the British market and the number of stores they run has doubled since 2000.

Dr Lucas, a member of the European Parliament's influential environment committee, attacked supermarkets for the eco damage they cause because of transporting goods all over the country and through excessive packaging.

She said: "The Competition Commission's report has simply failed to address the fact that the 'supermarket model' of food retailing is inherently unsustainable and that we must shift to more local and organic production if we are to break the growing dependence of supermarkets on dwindling fossil fuels and avoid nasty food shocks in the future."

Rupert Ashby, regional director of the South East Country Land and Business Association, said the report failed to properly address the concerns of supermarket suppliers.

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