business food

Sustainability at scale

Mike Sammons

A good thing from a sustainability perspective is that there’s always one of our stores somewhere in NZ doing exactly the right thing, before I even think what the right thing should be.

New Zealand spends over 15 billion dollars a year on groceries and about 60% goes through Foodstuffs supermarkets. With these sort of numbers, the person responsible for improving the sustainability of our shopping arguably has the most important role in ensuring the sustainability of our country.

Mike Sammons is a UK trained planner with a Masters in environmental management. Foodstuffs NZ is the national cooperative body of the locally owned and operated supermarkets New World, Pak’nSave, and Four Square. In this conversation we talk about how Mike came to be Mike Sammons, Sustainability Manager for Foodstuffs NZ. We talk about what is going right already, what isn’t, how changes are being made, and how that can be communicated.

Talking points:

we can make a massive difference – the programmes we’re implementing potentially affect millions of people within New Zealand.

I’m very aware of the of the responsibility I have – how good the research has to be, how tight the business case has to be, we’re potentially affecting 700 different businesses and millions of people.

When we evaluate products, and we ask for certification, it has to be really tight.

We’re championing stores that are doing the right thing

I strongly believe that sustainability makes a really good business case for itself.

Sometimes we have to get people to recognise the intangible

The next challenge is waste minimisation plans in every store

This is a slightly extended version of the show that aired on 12th September.

See other food related shows here.