Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Foreign Supermarkets In China Get Poor Environmental Rating

The international environmental group Greenpeace has released its latest "Supermarket List for China" which shows that foreign-funded supermarkets such as Wal-Mart, Tesco, and Ito-Yokado rank at the bottom of the list in terms of green initiatives.

There are a total of 15 supermarkets on the list. Of these, Carrefour, Hyper Market, and Auchan have received more positive comments due to their efforts in controlling the use of pesticides in the fruit and vegetable processing process and the sale of food containing genetically modified ingredients — in addition to their commitment to making further improvements — while Wal-Mart, Tesco and Ito-Yokado rank at the bottom of the list.

Wang Weikang, the food and agriculture project director of Greenpeace, told local media that the supermarkets that rank at the bottom of the list did not take any adequate action in supervising the quality of the food products they sell, nor did they make any promise to improve. According to Wang, Wal-Mart did not provide any information on the questionnaire regarding gradually banning the use of pesticide or committing to no genetically modified food, nor did it provide any of the necessary information on its Chinese website — even though it has already made a commitment to British consumers on not providing genetically modified food. In addition, there is no such information either on the Chinese language website of Ito-Yokado though the information is offered on the Japanese language website of the company.

So far, supermarkets ranked at the bottom of the list have responded saying that they have always abided by the local laws and regulations and have adopted product quality standards that are up to, or higher than, the local government requirements.

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