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On 1 February, the Carrefour Group and the Bel Group signed an innovative business agreement to aid the food and climate transition


Through a business agreement entered into on 1 February, the Bel Group and the Carrefour Group are renewing the foundations of the retailer-manufacturer relationship to enable everybody to enjoy a healthy and sustainable diet, and to help curb climate change. The combined measures will form a complete platform for consumers, while at the same time protecting the dairy sector and helping to keep global warming to within the 1.5°C limit.

Two groups committed to the food and climate transition

When it unveiled its “Carrefour 2026” strategic plan, the Carrefour Group further bolstered its commitments to enabling all of its customers to enjoy the best possible diet. Carrefour – which committed to keeping to within the 1.5°C pathway for its direct emissions back in 2020, and which was awarded an “A grade” for the second year in a row by the CDP climate change ratings agency – announced in November 2022 that it was getting its whole ecosystem involved in tackling climate change. This involves asking its 100 leading suppliers to commit to a 1.5°C pathway by 2026… otherwise they will be delisted from Carrefour stores.

Furthermore, in March 2022, the Bel Group unveiled its own 1.5°C pathway, which has been approved by the Science Based targets initiative (SBTi). It is now taking action along the entire length of its value chain. Its product innovations, for example, are now more plant-based, it is providing support for the agricultural sector upstream, packaging is now eco-designed, its production units have a lower environmental footprint and it is tackling food wastage.

Since 2020, both companies have been stepping up their joint work on tackling various societal and environmental issues – issues to which consumers are attaching more and more important. Bel has signed up to Carrefour’s Food Transition Pact, for example. It is also part of the cross-sectoral working group on biodiversity and is part of the 20 Megatonne platform which Carrefour set up to manage indirect scope 3 emissions.  

An unprecedented comprehensive agreement signed on 1 February

The agreement signed by both groups focuses on a number of different areas:

-       A wide and diversified product portfolio that meets all consumer needs – particularly a wider plant-based offering and formats that cater to accessibility requirements across all distribution channels

-       Support for the dairy sector with a higher price of milk in keeping with the 2023 agreement between Bel & the Association des Producteurs de lait Bel Ouest (association of dairy producers for western France)

-       A review clause factoring in changes in the price of milk, in line with the “trickle-down” principle, in accordance with the principles established by the EGALim 2 law

-       Managing targets via business indicators, as well as lower carbon footprints for Bel products sold at Carrefour

Aware of the challenges facing their ecosystems, the agreement has been effective since 1 February – in advance of the legal closing date. This is evidence of just how willing both groups are to accelerate and rapidly implement their initiatives to facilitate the food and climate transition.

Béatrice de Noray, CEO of Bel France, said: “Our partnership and this agreement are in line with Bel’s initiatives to enable everybody in France to enjoy a responsible diet: this involves paying our livestock farmers-partners fairly, supporting sustainable agricultural practices, developing offerings that are more plant-based and optimising our transport arrangements. It fully illustrates the relationship approach that the agrifood sector needs in order to defend the value of a high-quality, sustainable diet for people in France.”

Carine Kraus, the Carrefour Group’s Executive Director of Engagement, said: “Carrefour, which is already highly committed to its own climate pathway, has now decided to get its whole ecosystem involved in tackling climate change. We are doing this by asking our 100 leading suppliers to embark on their own pathway for keeping global warming to within 1.5°C by 2026 – otherwise, they will be delisted from our stores. We are also developing partnerships with our more advanced suppliers – such as Bel – on climate issues. The agreement that we signed at the start of the year covers not just economic targets, but environmental ones as well – which is unprecedented.”

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