Sustainable food production means producing more nutrition using fewer resources. Sounds simple, right? Except that our global population is hungry and growing by the second. And food supply chains are typically long and convoluted, and therefore difficult to manage. Producing and distributing food that is kinder to the environment can also be costly, in know-how, time and money. Decisions at the supermarket or grocer are not simple either. How can you shop more ethically, confident that producers' claims about the sustainability of their food are reliable? WWF is dedicated to making the whole process more transparent. We want you to be able to choose sustainably produced food with confidence. And with the support of leading food producers and companies, we're making it happen.

What we're doing

Trucks drive around the plantations collecting palm fruit to take back to the central mill for processing
© James Morgan / WWF-International

Sustainable food supply chain solutions

Assessing the environmental and social risks of food is not easy. It's hard to know whether the palm oil in your margarine has contributed to deforestation or your canned tuna has come from a well-managed fishery that minimises impacts on seabirds and turtles. It‘s especially challenging for manufacturers and retailers, who sell products containing ingredients from all over the world. To help companies with this daunting task, WWF developed the Supply Risk Analysis tool. Many have used the tool to identify risks in their supply chains and worked with us to find more sustainable sources.

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Coles sugar
Coles sugar on supermarket shelf © WWF Australia - Supplied

Credible certification standards

WWF works with producers, food companies and other partners to develop credible, independent standards. These standards allow producers to demonstrate their responsible food production and give consumers confidence in sustainable sources. We're helping to develop standards for seafood, palm oil, sugar cane and beef production in Australia. Certified sustainable palm oil, for example, is now widely used, with companies such as Coles and Unilever committed to the sustainable sourcing of this common food ingredient. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have also made global commitments to sourcing sustainable sugar and beef.

Why it matters

Big change from big business

A relatively small number of companies in the middle of supply chains dominate the food trade globally. Their purchasing decisions have enormous influence on what’s produced and what’s available for us to buy. When big business adopts more sustainable sourcing policies, food producers stand up and take notice, and consumers enjoy better choices.

Sustainability standards

The challenge is to ensure that corporate procurement is truly sustainable. That's why WWF promotes credible standards and certification systems that assess production holistically and trace products reliably.


In Australia and throughout the world, WWF works with major food companies to:

  • assess environmental risk in their supply chains
  • develop and promote independent sustainability standards for the products they sell
  • switch to more sustainable sources of key ingredients
  • help producers adopt better practices
  • educate consumers about sustainable food choices

We also work with governments to help producers make the transition to sustainable practices and promote credible standards, and with food industry associations to set sector-wide sustainability targets and monitor their progress.

Peter Holding is the third generation on this farm. They farm crops, mainly canola and wheat, with some variations of lupins or barley.
Peter was one of the featured farmers in Planet to Plate, the Earth Hour Cookbook 2015.
© WWF-Aus / Holly Bradford

What you can do to help

What you eat matters, not just for your own well-being but also for the health of the planet. When we choose food that is credibly verified as responsibly produced, we send a powerful message to the food industry that sustainability is important to the buying public. When you’re shopping, keep an eye out for WWF's preferred logos for sustainably produced food. And if you’re eating out, ask about the source and sustainability of key ingredients.

What does it mean when you see a WWF logo on a food product?

When you see a food product with a WWF logo on the packaging it will only appear together with a certification mark from the MSC (wild seafood) or ASC (farmed seafood). The main aim is to help raise the awareness of the certification. Because the WWF panda is already well-known and trusted worldwide, we want consumers to know that WWF supports the certification mark and that shoppers can trust that it is based on the highest, scientifically backed standards for responsible production. Equally important is minimising food waste, both at home and when eating out. Not only will this reduce your 'footprint', you'll save money!