UK retail is leading the way on environmental solutions

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plastic on beach

Sustainable seas report

Sir, The Environment Audit Committee’s parliamentary report on sustainable seas has arrived, with a suite of recommendations for those operating in, or with responsibility for, protection of our seas.

The report recommends that government should call for the creation of a legally binding ‘Paris Agreement for the sea’.

With sustainability and ocean impacts climbing up the retail agenda, the role this sector plays in driving change is clear. Retail has helped drive the sustainable seafood movement by adopting eco-labels like the MSC. British retailers also get a shout out for calling for the elimination of single-use plastics and supporting a move towards a circular economy.

British retail is leading the way on international solutions to international challenges.

Erin Priddle, programme director UK & Ireland, MSC

Brand use records

Sir, Supermac, an Irish restaurant chain, has successfully cancelled McDonald’s European trade mark registration for Big Mac. The basis of its claim was that the Big Mac mark hadn’t been used in the EU in the five years prior to the case being brought. McDonald’s provided data showing sales of over 1.4 billion Big Macs in the EU from 2011 to 2016, but for the EU IPO, this was not sufficient.

This case is a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining comprehensive brand use records, so owners can provide specific and objective evidence.

Dan Bailey, chartered (UK) and European trade mark attorney, Marks & Clerk

Fruit-based babyfood

Sir, Infants have an innate preference for sweet foods as a follow on from breast/formula milk, so it’s no surprise commercial babyfood products reinforce this preference with the use of high levels of fruit and sweeter vegetables. It’s this dominance of fruit and sweet flavour that Babease believes may lead to children developing a sweeter tooth later in life.

Fruit can be a great source of fibre, vitamins and sustenance but it’s common to see babyfood products marketed as vegetable-based despite often having as much as 82% fruit content.

The babyfood category should do more to help parents easily make the right choices.

Tom Redwood, founder, Babease

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