This web-page has been established to provide consumers with more information about the environmental and social sustainability of IGA stores and IGA products. Every IGA store is individually owned and operated. Metcash are the major distributor of groceries to IGA stores. Each store makes their own purchasing decisions, which can include products outside of the Metcash warehouses and outside of Metcash branded products which are produced for Metcash by manufacturers and include Black & Gold and IGA Signature. IGA stores are committed to being responsible members of the communities in which they live and work. That’s why all IGA’s across Australia have come together to adopt their first Sustainability Policy. IGA stores discuss sustainability at our regular national, state and regional board meetings, and participate in energy / water audits and retrofits. Together Metcash and IGA are working with our suppliers and other stakeholders on many issues which are of importance to our valued consumers.
Please find below information about how we are dealing with some of these issues.
Responsible Paper Products
Eden facial tissues, Allure toilet tissue, and IGA Signature toilet tissue products are made in Australia and hold PEFC certification.
‘Black & Gold’ paper towels & toilet tissue are made in Australia and hold Forest Stewardship Council certification.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, membership based, non-profit organisation founded in 1993 by environmentalists, social interest groups, indigenous peoples’ organisations, responsible retailers and leading forest management companies. They came together to develop standards based on the ‘10 Principles for Forest Stewardship’ by which responsible forest practice can be measured.
The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is the world’s largest forest certification system and is dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management.
Every product sold from the IGA Signature range assists the community. Donations from every sale are put towards supporting IGA Community Chest and Special Olympics Australia.
Nothing Fishy About IGA Signature and Black & Gold Canned Tuna
Metcash has ended the sourcing of canned tuna from unsustainable methods, as of September 2015. Unsustainable methods include Fish Aggregating Device (FAD)-associated purse seine caught tuna. Under our brands, we only have tuna caught using environmentally responsible methods such as pole & line, free school, and unassociated purse seine fishing.
This applies to all products under Metcash brands:
- Ocean Harvest
- Black + Gold
- IGA Signature
Firm commitments have been made as follows:
- Our supplier only sources pole and line skipjack or skipjack tuna sourced from the Western Central Pacific Ocean for Metcash Products.
- Where our supplier sources Metcash product from purse seines, they do not source from vessels intentionally setting on marine mammals or sharks
- Our supplier has a strong catch retention policy to reduce discarding of dead unwanted fish.
- Our supplier does not engage in shark finning activity.
- All Ocean Harvest, IGA Signature and Black & Gold canned tuna products disclose the catch area on the can.
- Our supplier does not and will not source from the pockets of international waters in the Western Central Pactific Ocean, otherwise known as the Pacific Commons.
- Our supplier does not source from:
- Any species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered on IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species
- Any species listed as Vulnerable on IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species
- Any species listed as Near Threatened on IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species
- From stocks described by the RFMO as overfished (Fmsy or equivalent)
- From stocks described by Greenpeace as at low, non precautionary levels
- From stocks described by Greenpeace as being fished at a rate that is too high to be precautionary
Your IGA donates 2c for every IGA Signature product sold to the IGA Community Chest Fund.
Metcash are also participating in a multi-stakeholder process to improve tuna traceability throughout the supply chain. This initiative is co-ordinated by the Australian Food and Grocery Council and supported by WWF. Metcash also screen all our potential suppliers using our Sustainable Supply Chain Questionnaire which includes important questions around seafood sourcing.
GM Free – for you and me
Metcash/IGA are pleased to advise that it is a requirement in our supplier agreement that no GM ingredients be used in our corporate branded products, such as IGA Signature and Black & Gold brands, including food additives, processing aids and enzymes. In recognition of this, Greenpeace Australia have awarded IGA brands a “green” rating in their True Food Guide. You can review the guide at www.truefood.org.au
However, because of changes in the agricultural sector, it is becoming more difficult to unequivocally guarantee that no genetically modified stockfeed is fed to meat, poultry, dairy and egg producing animals. GM crops grown cannot be prevented from cross contaminating non-GM crops, and since GE canola was first planted in Australia in 2008 we cannot guarantee that GM stockfeed is eliminated from our supply chain. A limited meat/poultry supply base in Australia means that this is a shared issue in the food and grocery industry.
All of our products comply with FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand), TGS & Consumer Affairs (now ACCC) requirements. We have communicated Greenpeace’s concerns with our suppliers and continue to maintain an open dialogue with our suppliers on this and other sustainability issues.
Metcash remain pro labelling and pro choice.
The Good Oil on Palm Oil – informing consumers
Metcash are pleased to advise that we have become members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and we have embraced the Principles & Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production. See the RSPO website for further details www.rspo.org. RSPO is a global not-for-profit organisation set up to advance the use of certified sustainable palm oil and establish consistent standards.
Palm oil production is the primary income source for the remote and regional communities in the developing countries where it is produced. It is estimated that millions of people in Malaysia and Indonesia alone rely on income from palm oil production.
Whilst we acknowledge and share the concerns of our customers on the impact that palm oil production is having on the environment and the welfare of animals, immediate bans on palm oil will leave these communities without a source of income.
As eliminating the use of palm oil would devastate thousands of farming families in developing countries, we are committed to working towards more sustainable palm oil and preventing deforestation, while continuing to support the communities that rely on its production.
Presently, certified sustainable palm oil only accounts for less than 10% of global total palm oil supply, so there is a gap between the quantity required by all product manufacturers and the amount that is available. This is why we need to work over time with suppliers to secure a supply of sustainable palm oil.
While we work to address the supply issue, we have taken steps to ensure we operate responsibly and care for the environment.
She’ll be Apples – Safe for the Endangered Black Cockatoo
Metcash only use suppliers of pome (apple & pear) fruit who employ industry best practice methods of pest control, thereby avoiding impact on the endangered WA Black Cockatoo.
Our suppliers use the WA State Government Department of Environment and Conservation’s “Best Practice Guidelines for Bird Scaring in Orchards : Noise and Threatened Species”.
We have worked closely with WWF on this issue.
Fair Wages, Fair Products, Fair Trade
We aim to offer a choice to our customers, so IGA stores are able to obtain from our Metcash warehouses a variety of products at a variety of price points. This includes a range of products which have an emphasis on fair work and trade practices. Often called “fair trade”, these products have structured plans in place to ensure farmers and workers are paid a wage allowing them to live comfortably and work in safe conditions. A number of products your local IGA may stock have such certification, such as:
- All Cadbury products are now Fair Trade
- Nestle have UTZ certified products
- Dilmah teas use ethical work/trade practices to their own stringent standards
- All Unilever teas are Rainforest Alliance certified
- Sara Lee Harris Brazillian and Columbian coffee is UTZ certified.
- Mars have committed to purchase by 2020 100,000 tonnes per annum of Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa and 100,000 tonnes per annum of UTZ certified cocoa per annum They also are seeking certification of 100% of their products.
It is important to note that IGA stores are independently owned and operated, and as such, each store makes its’ own purchasing decisions. If you have a specific request for a product, ask your local IGA.
Metcash take action on this and other issues of consumer concern by discussing them with our suppliers and being in constant consultation with relevant authorities to ensure that our corporate branded products meet industry and regulatory standards, and that these standards are continually improved.
Currently Metcash do not have any corporate branded fresh pork products, but we will soon range a free range pork product as a trial. We support Australian Pork Limited’s decision at their November AGM to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls by 2017.
Metcash supply fresh chicken products direct from suppliers to IGA stores that choose to purchase them. We have corporate branded fresh chicken products, including free range products. All our corporate branded chicken products are required to comply fully with industry and regulatory standards.
Metcash warehouse and supply eggs that are both free range and non free range to IGA stores who choose to purchase them. We have both corporate branded free range and non free range eggs – including an RSPCA Approved Barn Laid Egg product. All our corporate branded egg products are required to comply fully with industry and regulatory standards.
It is important to note that IGA stores are independently owned and operated, and service the needs and wants of their consumers. Each store makes their own purchasing decisions, which is driven by customer demand and delivering a range that suits their needs and the needs of local towns and communities.
Consumers can also ask their local IGA directly if they would like to see a certain product in store.
Clean Kitchen & Laundry, Clean Environment
IGA has led Australian supermarkets with the removal of phosphate from its private label, Black & Gold and IGA Signature and dishwashing products.
All IGA and Black & Gold laundry and dishwashing products are now phosphate free, and Metcash closely monitors the use of phosphates and other chemicals in the products it distributes to IGA supermarkets as part of its push to maintain the highest possible environmental standards across its products range.
Phosphate is a naturally occurring chemical which has been found to contribute to algal blooms in rivers.