Race to the Top

2002 - 2006

Tracking supermarket progress towards a greener and fairer food system, the Race to the Top project brings together farming, conservation, labour, animal welfare and sustainable development organisations, as well as the big supermarkets, to gather data on a broad range of environmental, ethical and social indicators, comparing supermarkets' performance.

Supermarkets supply three-quarters of all the food consumed in the UK. This food is produced, processed and sold by workers from all over the world, many of who are working in poor conditions, for poor wages and with little or no protection from exploitation. An alliance of farming, conservation, labour, animal welfare and sustainable development organisations-including USDAW-has developed several indicators of supermarket performance. Race to the Top will benchmark the major supermarkets annually using these indicators, and publish the results along with case studies of best practice by supermarkets and their suppliers.

Project objectives

The aim of the Race to the Top project is to track the social, environmental and ethical performance of UK supermarkets, and catalyse change within the UK agri-food sector and beyond.

Impacts

  • alliance of 22 partner organisations established
  • 4 UK multiples signed onto project; discussions with other 6 of top 10
  • indicators and survey instruments developed
  • surveying via self-assessment questionnaire started July 2002
  • first public data available 200

Project website: www.racetothetop.org

Donors

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, DEFRA

Contact

bill.vorley@iied.org