Sustainable products in Belgian supermarkets

This study, commissioned by the Trade for Development Centre (TDC) and realized by Dedicated between December 21, 2015 and January 29, 2016, attempted to draw up a statement of condition on the presence of sustainable products within the assortments of major Belgian supermarkets. Similar studies had been performed in 2011 and 2012.

For this study, the TDC chose to focus on 6 product categories originating from developing countries: coffee, cocoa, bananas, tea, cane sugar and rice. By “sustainable”, we mean, in the context of this study, products bearing at least one of the following labels: Fairtrade, UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Bio (organic). These are so-called “third party”-certifications, the compliance of which being verified by an external and independent organization.

The two discounters, Aldi and Lidl, are the only chains to have made improvements in all of the 4 product categories studied in 2012 (coffee, bananas, tea and cocoa). On average, Aldi and Lidl have respectively recorded an improvement of 24% and 21% of the share of sustainable products offered. They are followed by Carrefour Market Mestdagh (+13.5%), Makro (+6%) and Carrefour (+5.5%). Intermarché and Delhaize have seen their results get slightly worse (-0.25% and -0,5% respectively), while Colruyt (-4%) and Spar (-11%) are the chains that have recorded the poorest results.