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Would you like fries with that carbon-neutral meal deal?

The fine folk of sunny seaside suburb Devonport can now buy a $20 ‘carbon neutral meal’ from their local New World supermarket, and CarboNZero’s marketing and communications manager Kathryn Hailes says this initiative is a long-overdue acknowledgment of the growing number of Kiwi consumers who are now more discerning about their purchasing decisions.

From 10 October (for two weeks) shoppers can buy a bundled Pitango Innovative Cuisine (Salmon, Dill and Pumpkin Risotto), NZ Fresh Cuts (Japanese Sesame Slaw) and Wairau River Wine (sauvignon blanc). Mmmmmm, carbon never sounded so good. Each company and its products are certified carbon neutral by the voluntary carboNZero programme, which means they are measuring, managing and offsetting their greenhouse gas emissions. And, increasingly, creating an important point of sustainable difference from their competitors.

Hailes says New Zealand supermarkets have been slow to follow the lead of UK counterparts such as Tescos and Sainsbury’s. And the Japanese government recently required carbon labelling on food. Likewise, Landcare Research has recently completed carbon footprinting work for the pipfruit, berryfruit and kiwifruit industries.

Next up? Carbon neutral flame grilled fast food.

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