The European Federation of Accountants (FEE) has issued a report saying that corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting should be given the same status and recognition as financial reporting, and be subject to independent assurance and verification.
The group is calling on the European Commission's Multi-Stakeholder Forum to include these measures in the recommendations they are due to publish in the next few months.
When food retailers and producers all over the world met at last year's CIES industry summit, they were set five tests by celebrity speaker Bob Geldof to see if their company's business was sustainable.
Meeting again last week at the 2004 summit, representatives from five food retail groups from across the world were asked to comment on initiatives they were currently carrying out to try and meet these targets. All of the panellists went to great pains to stress the positive steps they had taken towards promoting a sustainable food trade.
Britain's largest supermarket chain faced criticism at its annual meeting as it unveiled another strong performance on the high street.
Farmers accused the supermarket giant of treating British producers in a "ruthless" way by driving down prices to rock-bottom levels. Members of agricultural lobby group Farm protested outside the conference centre to highlight what they described as Tesco's role in perpetuating the farming crisis.
Friends of the Earth also protested over Tesco's record on buying products from parts of the world where human and environmental rights are abused. The group called on Tesco to do more to ensure it was not sourcing products containing palm oil from deforested areas, and from producers which violated workers' rights.