ICA’s organic sales
Interest in organic products continues to increase. ICA’s initiatives to support its customers in Sweden in making sustainable choices are particularly apparent in sales of organic fruit and vegetables. The range of organic products is constantly increasing and today amounts to around 1,100 products in ICA’s main range. There is a greater percentage of organic products in ICA’s private label range than in the rest of the product range. Organic dairy products account for the highest sales.
“We work actively to support our customers’ sustainable choices, and last year’s initiatives both by us and by environmental organisations are being reflected in sales,” says Anders Svensson, CEO of ICA Sverige AB. “In 2012 demand flattened out somewhat, but it is now increasing again and in seven years our sales of organic products have nearly trebled.”
In 2013 ICA invested in expanding its range of organic fruit and vegetables, and many newly introduced products are best sellers. The greatest increase was for:
- grapes 246%
- bananas almost 150%
- citrus fruits 111% excluding oranges, which were up 73% (lemon and grapefruit were new in 2013)
ICA has a largely complete range of organic beef, pork and lamb.
Healthy oceans have enough fish
Fish is good, nutritious and an increasingly common option on people’s plates. By thinking through our choice of fish we can also contribute to sustainable development in the world’s seas and oceans.
ICA Gruppen has taken a stand in a number of ways to protect endangered species of fish, using WWF’s guides for Sweden which detail red, yellow and green rated fish. As far as possible, we avoid red rated fish in our main product range sold to the stores.
Our range of MSC-certified fish, such as frozen haddock, frozen cod fillets and frozen white tuna steaks, is also continually increasing. Today ICA Sweden has around 50 MSC-certified products in its main range.
ICA Sweden’s website allows customers to trace cod, haddock and Alaska pollock that is sold under ICA brands. They can follow the fish on its journey from the Arctic waters off Norway to ICA’s warehouses and stores, and find out what is being done to protect the species.
King prawns rather than tiger prawns
Today, tropical tiger prawns pose a risk to the environment whether the prawns are wild or farmed. ICA has therefore launched private label MSC-certified king prawns as a sustainable alternative. King prawns are similar to tiger prawns in texture, flavour and appearance and come from a small-scale fishery off the south coast of Australia. They can only be caught on a few days each year and quotas are limited. Farmed tiger prawns were removed from ICA’s main product range back in 2009.
FSC-labelled products for sustainable forestry
Every year ICA in Sweden sells around 10,000 tonnes of barbecue charcoal and 25,000 sets of wooden garden furniture. Many of these products bear the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label. Behind these three letters lies a global partnership for creating sustainable use of the world’s forests.
Labelling helps consumers make conscious choices
Forests are of great importance for plants, people and animals. They affect the climate, the air we breathe and the water cycle. They are also an important source of income in many countries. However, timber production does not always respect the forests and the people who live near them. The problem is greatest in tropical forests. ICA has therefore decided that all tropical wood used in ICA products, and also ICA’s own barbecue charcoal, must be FSC-labelled.
The FSC is one of the initiatives that exist. ICA has chosen the FSC because its labelling is highly credible and because the FSC works for responsible forestry that gives consideration to both the environment and social conditions. All wood is traceable from the forest via the factory through to the end product in the store. ICA is continually making efforts to introduce more FSC-labelled products and packaging into its range, to help consumers make conscious choices.
Some of our FSC-certified products:
- ICA’s own barbecue charcoal
- all garden furniture made of tropical woods (from our main product range)
- a piece of pine furniture for children (made from Nordic species)
- certain packaging for our private label products, such as ICA chopped tomatoes and ICA milk (the packaging is produced from sustainably grown wood raw material)
Food and the environment
Around a quarter of the climate impact from Swedish households comes from food. What we eat also affects animals and nature in other ways. We can be more environmentally smart by choosing carefully, planning our purchases and storing and preparing dishes correctly. ICA has seven tips as part of its work to help customers make sustainable choices and be environmentally aware in their daily lives.
Choose organic and eco-labelled food products
Look for the EU organic, KRAV and MSC logos.
Eat seasonal fruit and vegetables from where you live
Half a kilo of fruit and vegetables per day is good not just for the environment, but also for health.
Vary your choices of meat
Eat as much beef and lamb as chicken and pork. Chicken and pork are better from a climate perspective, but the grazing of cattle and sheep keeps fields and meadows open which benefits many plant and animal species.
Choose fish with care
Choose green rated fish (or – occasionally – yellow rated fish) from the WWF fish guide. You can find the guide at www.wwf.se
Store food correctly
If you store food in the right way it will keep for longer: milk and meat in the coldest part of the fridge, vegetables where the temperature is higher.
Be smart when cooking
Use a kettle for your pasta water and put lids on pans. Switch off the oven before the food is ready – it will finish cooking in the residual heat.
Eat up food
Great recipes for leftovers reduce food waste at home. For inspiration go to www.ica.se/klimat
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organisation working for the world’s forests. The wood used in a product bearing the FSC label comes from healthy forestry that:
1. is managed with consideration for animals, plants and the land
2. protects people who work in or live near to the forests
3. does not use environmentally harmful methods
4. takes social responsibility for its employees