U Enseigne is a cooperative structure. The cooperative group brings together the brands Hyper U, Super U and U Express. With a 10.6% market share in 2017, it is the fifth largest food retailer in France.
U Enseigne works with Earthworm Foundation on a broad variety of commodities, ranging from charcoal to cocoa.
U Enseigne and Earthworm Foundation have been working together for several years on making their charcoal supplies more responsible. The supermarket chain is committed, through their wood policy, to supply 100% French charcoal. U Enseigne work with two charcoal producers in Eastern France, also members of EF for several years. These producers who source wood from the forests of Burgundy, Champagne and Lorraine and related wood industry in these regions, are equipped with efficient technologies and low pollution, ensuring U Enseigne a responsible product.
Earthworm Foundation is helping U Enseigne implement its responsible palm oil policy. U Enseigne has actively worked towards palm oil substitution in their owned branded products. For the part left, they worked first towards physically certified palm, on top of which they added in 2016 a No Deforestation component. The work is now focusing on European refiners, who are importing palm from production countries, in order to influence their commitments and practices in the right direction.
U Enseigne is participating in the Tuna Working Group, alongside 13 other French and Belgian companies. This initiative is coordinated by Earthworm Foundation. The aim of the group is to act collectively towards better managed tuna fisheries so as to preserve tuna stocks, prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated tuna fishing; and respect the workers and communities involved into the canned tuna supply chain from boat to plate. U Enseigne has already started work to diversify its tuna assortment with a mix of different tuna specie and redirecting towards pole & line catch methods in order to lessen the pressure on global tuna stocks.
Cocoa and coffee
Earthworm Foundation is helping U Enseigne to reflect about their values linked to those two commodities and translate them into sourcing policies. Supply chain mapping and supplier interviews and meetings have helped in nurturing the value reflection.