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M&S is a value for money retailer, focused on creating own label Food in the UK and internationally to our 31 million of customers. We sell a range of delicious food products our customers love, spanning prepared meals, sandwiches, produce, wine and household items. 

Over the years, we have been leading standards across the industry - from becoming the first retailer to sell 100% free-range eggs to tracing all our beef back to the individual farm and animal. We want our customers to trust that the food they buy from M&S is sourced responsibly. That is why, our goal is to source all our products with care - because our actions today protect our planet for tomorrow

We have a history of firsts behind us. Here are just a few examples:



Since 2004, we’ve received over 50 awards in recognition of our accomplishments within the food arena.

Sustainable Raw Materials

We have a strong heritage of sourcing with integrity. Over the years, we’ve taken significant steps to improve the sourcing of key raw materials in our products to ensure our products are good quality, good value and sustainably sourced to meet our customers expectations. 


An overview of our priority raw materials, commodities and ingredients is included below. 

Fish and Shellfish

100% of the farmed fish and shellfish we source for M&S products comes from third party certified sources, and 90% of wild-caught fish and shellfish for M&S products come from a Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) recognised third party certified source. Find out more about M&S Fish and Shellfish sourcing here.

Meat and Poultry

100% of the meat and poultry we source meet our M&S Select Farm Standards and are independently assured to UK Red Tractor Farm standards (or equivalent). Find out more about M&S Beef, Lamb & VenisonPork, Poultry and Game sourcing.

Milk

100% of M&S milk farms are independently assured to UK Red Tractor Farm standards and are RSPCA assured. Find out more about M&S milk sourcing here.

Eggs

100% of M&S branded eggs are free-range and meet an independently assured M&S accepted standard (UK Red Tractor, Bord Bia Egg Quality Assurance Scheme (EQAS), Code of Practice for Lion Eggs, Duck Assurance Scheme (DAS) – Eggs, or KAT Standard). Find out more about M&S 100% Free Range Egg sourcing here.

Flowers and Plants

100% flower and plant growers meet the Global GAP Flowers & Ornamental Standard our M&S Non-GM and Pesticides Policy. Find out more about M&S flower and plant sourcing here.

Palm Oil

100% of palm oil used in M&S products meet RSPO standards, with 99% being physically certified (69% segregated and 30% mass balance) and the remainder being covered by RSPO certificates from small holder producers.100% of M&S Palm Oil will have segregated status by the end of 2020/21. Find out more about M&S palm oil sourcing here.

Soy

100% of soy used in animal feed in M&S supply chains is FEFAC compliant. We require our major soy-using livestock suppliers of monogastric (pigs and poultry) to source from standards that have a strong approach to deforestation (Round Table Responsible Soy (RTRS), ProTerraISCC +Cefetra - Certified Responsible SoyaCargill Sustainably Sourced & Supplied (SSS) Soy). We have programmes in place to reduce/replace Soy in Dairy Cattle Feeds and Oakham Chicken Diets. To cover the soy used in other proteins such as beef and lamb we purchase RTRS credits and in 2019 we purchased 25,000 certificates. Find out more about M&S soy sourcing here.

Tea and Coffee

100% of Tea and Coffee in M&S Foodhalls and Cafes are Fairtrade certified. In 2004, we became the first retailer to source only Fairtrade certified coffee for our M&S Cafes, and in 2006 we were the first retailer to source only Fairtrade certified tea across our products. Our ongoing commitment means our growers collectively receive £580,000 in Fairtrade premiums each year. Find out more about M&S Tea and Coffee sourcing.

Cocoa

100% of the cocoa we source for M&S branded products is from verified sustainable sources (UTZ Certification/Rainforest Alliance/Fairtrade Certified/Third party verified HORIZONS cocoa/Olam Livelihoods Charter). Find out more about M&S Cocoa sourcing here.

Find out more about our approach to raw materials, commodities and ingredients here.

Animal Welfare

We are committed to making sure that the welfare of the animals used for our products is protected.  Our commitments have been recognised by organisations such as the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming – who have awarded M&S Tier 1 status in in the Business Benchmark on Animal Welfare and have been since 2013, the longest recognised UK retailer in this leading Tier. 

Find out more about our animal welfare standards here.

Food Waste

At M&S, we’re proud of our quality and fresh food and believe it’s just too good to be wasted. That’s why we’ve committed to halving food waste (net food waste relative to sales) by 2030 and ensure all of our edible food waste if redistributed to our charity partners. Here’s what we’re doing so far to make it happen:

  • Connecting with good causes – over 580 of our stores connect with local community causes through the Neighbourly platform. We’ve donated over 16.5 million meals since 2015/16.
  • Working with suppliers – as part of our commitment to Courthald 2025, we help our suppliers to reduce their food waste and make it simple to redistribute to local community causes too. 
  • Making our stores smarter – in February 2020, we launched an update to our programme with Neighbourly to automate notification to charities of when our stores have surplus available. Since then, our stores ability to participate and the volumes of what we’ve redistributed have really improved.
  • Finding new innovation – we are always looking to give our surplus food a new purpose, like turning unsold freshly baked in-store bakery baguettes and boules into frozen garlic bread at the end of each day (with an extended shelf life of 30 days).
  • Helping our customers – through reviewing best before dates and promotions and selling more single pack portions, we’re helping our customers to buy just what they need and reduce the amount of edible food they throw in the bin.
  • Zero Waste to Landfill – Any final leftover food we have is sent to anaerobic digestion to be used for energy.

Find out more about our Food Waste here.

Plastics Plan

We have a goal to achieve a circular system where we reduce the amount of plastic we use and that any we do gets reused or recycled. Our 3 key actions are to:

1. Reduce the plastic we use in our business

2. Working collaboratively to reform the UK’s waste and recycling system

3. Make it easier for our customers to reuse and recycle plastic

So far, we’ve:

  • Removed over 2,000 tonnes of plastic packaging through using alternatives like card and fil
  • Carried out trials, like removing plastic packaging from fruit and veg at our Tolworth store, and used to learnings to understand how we can reduce packaging without increasing food waste
  • Removed black packaging (which can’t be recycled) in our production lines as part out our goal that all plastic packaging will be widely recycled by 2022.
  • Started a customer plastic take-back scheme roll out for hard to recycle plastic – which we are turning into new playground equipment.

Find out more about our plastics plan here.

Non-Branded Goods

We are predominantly an own-brand retailer, branded goods are a very small proportion of what we sell – around one per cent of total lines across the store. Plan A applies to our own products, operations, customers, employees and our supply base, however it does not apply to the supply chains of branded goods. A number of these suppliers do have their own, well respected sustainability programmes, for example Unilever. We work closely with some of these companies, sharing best practice and advice, however ultimately they are responsible for the standards applied to their branded products.  

Working with others

Listening, learning, responding and working in partnership is an important part of how we do business.

Many issues are too large or complex for us to tackle alone, so it is vital that we work with others. Our external partners have already provided solutions, improved our understanding of issues, aided us in building capacity within our supply base and helped us inspire our customers. Within our Food Group, we’re working with many different organisations, including the British Retail Consortium, Consumer Goods Forum,  FAI Farms, Fairtrade, Institute for Grocery Distribution (IGD), LEAF, RSPCA and WRAP to name but a few.

Throughout this website, we explain how they, and our many other partners, are helping us address specific issues.