This was the year green went mainstream. Under scrutiny from government, the media and the public, the multiples launched a raft of environmental and ethical initiatives in a bid to outgreen each other.

If they weren't plonking wind turbines on their stores, they were unveiling ambitious waste reduction programmes or introducing customer-facing initiatives to recycle waste and reduce plastic bag use.

Tesco even launched a 10 point community plan and £100m environment fund to underscore its commitment.

Meanwhile, organic goods flew off the shelves, prompting Tesco and Sainsbury's to take a leaf out of Abel & Cole's and Riverford's book to launch box delivery schemes. And who can have missed the hype surrounding Whole Foods Market ahead of the opening of its first store in the UK next spring?

Suppliers didn't stand idly by. Some 70 new ethical foods were introduced and Mintel predicted that by the end of the year, sales of fair trade and organic food would top £2bn - up 62% on 2002. By the autumn, corporate social responsibility had evolved into corporate responsibility; consumers were totting up air miles and examining provenance; and retailers were making a lot of noise about their commitment to local and regionally sourced food.

Green had become such a massive issue - not to mention a competitive one - that we devoted our first ever themed issue to it, on 16 September.