Invasive species

Joining the battle against all pests harmful to our environment.

What’s going on?

Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are species alien to a particular environment – be that a whole country, or a local ecosystem – that cause harm to that environment, economy, or human, animal or plant health when introduced.

The risks of INNS will increase further with climate change.[1]

UK food retail is heavily dependent on imports from overseas. As such, it has a role to play in guarding against the import of INNS which typically occurs between one country and another through the transport of goods and people.

UK retail businesses should also beware the risks of introducing pests that though not necessarily INNS are still harmful, and diseases more broadly. They must take biosecurity seriously and strive in their efforts to exceed legal minimum standards.

Get nature positive

Tackling INNS once a species has become a problem can be difficult, so being informed and adhering to precautionary principles on an ongoing basis is key.

UK food retail businesses should procure UK grown living materials – such as plants and trees to sell or plant in new retail developments – from domestic sources wherever possible. If importing, they should follow best practice – for example, by adhering to the Plant Healthy scheme. Read about Plant Healthy and the Plant Healthy Standard, which helps protect horticultural businesses, gardens, forests and ecosystems against destructive plant pest and diseases, here.

Inspired by steps retail businesses are already taking, we’ve compiled suggested actions to help you on your journey to getting nature positive.                

Explore the actions your business can take to join the journey to nature positivity.

Explore actions for nature