Friends of the Earth has called on consumers to avoid shopping at supermarkets and head to local shops for Christmas food during the festive season.

The charity said that shoppers are increasingly looking for fairtrade and environmentally-friendly products – which includes produce from local farms.

“Shoppers wanting a green and fair choice should avoid over-packaged goods and look for locally-produced food, organic where possible, direct from farmers, local shops and markets,” Friends of the Earth said.

Vicki Hird, senior food campaigner at the organisation, said that while some supermarkets were making progress in terms of ethically-sourced, sustainable food, more effort was needed.

Hird claimed that the relentless growth of out-of-town supermarkets was counter-productive when it came to environmental sustainability.

Businesses wanting to win over local shoppers should consider using environmentally-friendly branded cotton bags to entice customers.

1 Hagan, Nick. “Friends of the Earth: Forget the supermarket and shop locally for green and fair food”. Wednesday December 22nd 2010.