Groundswell NZ calls on supporters to 'boycott Countdown' over emissions blame game
Rural News
Rural News

Groundswell NZ calls on supporters to 'boycott Countdown' over emissions blame game

From July 24th to August 7th, Groundswell NZ is calling for a boycott of Countdown after supermarket giant Countdown's attempts to shift the blame for its carbon footprint onto local farmers.

"We, the food producers of New Zealand, have had enough," Groundswell NZ co-founder Bryce McKenzie declared.

 In a recent media appearance, the Head of Sustainability for Countdown pointed fingers at suppliers, but farmers are calling foul play.

McKenzie expressed his disappointment at the company's approach, stating, "Companies should be assessing their impacts on our environment. However, instead of looking at how they, an Australian-owned multinational with 194 stores New Zealand-wide, can reduce their emissions, they have decided to blame farmers.

"It's a narrative we're all too familiar with. Farmers are tired of being scapegoats for big corporations and the government."

Countdown claimed that most of their emissions come from local suppliers, but Groundswell NZ is sceptical. 

McKenzie highlighted that Countdown operates a massive chain of nearly 200 stores, relying on refrigerants, extensive distribution networks, and substantial energy consumption. Moreover, the company imports a significant amount of products from overseas, adding to its carbon footprint through air and sea travel. 

McKenzie questioned, "Are they practically carbon neutral except for emissions from farmers? That's hard to believe."

Countdown's claim to sustainability is also under scrutiny. 

"Why did they push out their zero-waste-to-landfill target while spending $400 million on a rebrand?" McKenzie wondered.

One sticking point is Countdown's use of the GWP100 method to calculate emissions, which the IPCC deems outdated and inaccurate for measuring methane emissions. 

Groundswell NZ demands proper accounting for carbon sequestered on farms through trees, crops, grass, and soil, using the updated GWP* metric.

Listen to the full chat between Groundswell co-founder Bryce McKenzie and Dominic George above.

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