Waitrose to kill off garden chemicals!

Waitrose has pledged to remove all potentially harmful garden chemicals by the end of the year in a move to preserve natural biodiversity in Britain’s outdoor living spaces.

Having already forbidden the use of over 70 pesticides* on crops destined for its stores, the decision will further Waitrose’s innovative work to promote more sustainable alternatives and see the removal of products such as harmful garden bug sprays and granules, weed killers and slug pellets, plus many more.

The supermarket will instead only sell non-harmful, natural and sustainable garden alternatives such as PlantGrow – a product that is sold exclusively in 260 Waitrose stores.

The decision has been made in order to help customers increase and maintain biodiversity in their own gardens and follows a decision made on similar grounds to phase out all bagged peat compost products in all Waitrose stores at the end of the year.

Marija Rompani, Director of Ethics & Sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, comments: “COP26 is under a month away and although the preservation of our natural habitats will no doubt be at the top of the agenda, it’s time for action, not words.”

“If we are to preserve our natural ecosystems, we need to start making bold choices. This means changing our mindsets, adapting our behaviours and, where possible, moving towards more sustainable and natural alternatives.”

Save our creatures, great and small! – The Eco News

“This small action is not going to save our planet, but it’s a start and we’ll keep working tirelessly to be part of the solution.”

Nick Mole, Policy Officer at PAN UK: “We are delighted that Waitrose has committed to end its sale of high-risk synthetic pesticide products. As a result, both humans and wildlife will be less exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. We hope that this move will encourage other retailers to take pesticides off their shelves and also help raise awareness among the public that they do not need to use toxic pesticides in their gardens, window boxes or allotments.”

We are the only supermarket in the UK to own and run our own farm. Located on the Leckford Estate in Hampshire, our farm is a test bed for regenerative farming practices, with learnings to be shared with our thousands of UK-based suppliers. This will be critical in helping us reach our mission to be carbon net zero across our UK farming supplier network by 2035.

In addition, many of our supplier farms and own operations dedicate farmland to nature, for example:

  1. We require all of our dedicated dairy farmers to devote at least 10% of their land to nature.

  2. All of our UK fresh fruit and vegetable farms give an average of 12% to land conservation as part of our membership of LEAF.

  3. Our Waitrose farm on the Leckford Estate dedicates 40% of its land to nature and is a testbed for regenerative agriculture practices for our supplier network.

To learn more about the work we’re doing in this area and others in our latest Ethics & Sustainability progress report HERE.


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