There are a range of things that you can do to encourage your supermarket to reduce their pesticide use.
As a regular customer, you probably give them lots of money every year – so you deserve a say in their approach to pesticides! Here are a few suggestions:
Contact the company’s CEO using our simple and quick online action
CEOs care about their supermarket’s public image, and they have the power to make big changes to the company’s entire supply chain. You can contact the CEO of your supermarkets directly in just a few clicks using our online action. A personalised message is likely to have more impact so do feel free to edit the text to explain why this issue is so important to you. If you’d prefer, you can also download our letter to CEOs and print it out to hand in to your supermarket customer service desk in-store.
Share our online actions on social media
Your supermarket might listen if you send them an email about their pesticide use, but they are much more likely to take action if hundreds or even thousands of their customers contact them calling for the same thing. Help spread the word by emailing the online action to friends and family or sharing it on social media.
Congratulate your supermarket if you find a bug in your fresh produce
Finding the odd bug in fresh fruit and vegetables could be a sign that they have been grown using less pesticides. Complaints from customers about bugs are one of the factors holding supermarkets back from reducing their pesticide use. If you find a bug, why not congratulate and shower them in praise instead? Go to the customer help desk in store or contact their customer service team to tell them how happy you are about it!
Buy the wonkiest vegetables possible
Pesticides are often used to make our fruit and vegetables cosmetically ‘perfect’. By buying the wonkiest produce, you are demonstrating to your supermarket that their customers don’t need items to be ‘perfect’- they are beautiful just the way they are. Many supermarkets now have their own ranges of imperfect produce so make sure to look out for them when you’re shopping.
Buy local, seasonal vegetables from your supermarket
Generally, the shorter a supply chain is, the less pesticides (especially fungicides) will be needed to preserve the produce through the transportation process. Also, the EU has the highest standards on pesticides in the world, so food produced closer to home is less likely to have been grown using hazardous pesticides.
Buy organic if you can
Organic isn’t always affordable or even available to everyone. Supermarkets and the UK government could be doing much more to enable all UK citizens to access organic food, regardless of their income. However, if you are lucky enough to be able to afford it, then buy organic. That way, your supermarket will know that the demand for organic is there, and will up their stocks. If you’d like to know which items to prioritise, you can download our ‘Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen’ lists which show what produce has been found to contain the most and least residues.
Don’t buy pesticide products and don’t use pesticides in your garden
This is one of the easiest things you can do! If you have weeds in your garden, pull them out, don’t spray them with pesticides. If you have aphids, try covering plants with horticultural fleece. If your supermarket sells non-chemical alternatives, such as slug tape, buy them instead of pesticides to show that you want to keep your garden pesticide-free. For more tips and advice, download our Guide to Gardening without Pesticides.