Our Top Stories
The grape comeback: The wine industry is struggling to grapple with a changing climate. Extreme weather, drought and steadily rising temperatures have laid bare a crop that is extremely sensitive to change. The Guardian sheds light on the farmers who are reviving ancient, almost extinct grape varieties, in the hope that they can yield a crop resistant to the extreme weather changes that are shocking the sector. This is set to become a recurring theme over the next decade, as more everyday food products come under siege from the effects of rapidly rising emissions. [The Guardian]
Packaging waste reforms: Edie reports on the new rules from the Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging (pEPR) that will make businesses that supply household packaging responsible for the costs of dealing with packaging waste, moving costs away from councils and council taxpayers. This will encourage producers to reduce the amount of packaging they place on the market, and to improve recyclability, which in turn ensures less waste ends up in the natural environment. This shift in responsibility should encourage businesses to do all they can to not only reduce costs, but to minimise their environmental footprint. [Edie]
The diet with the lowest footprint: A recent study, reported by Euronews, investigated the average carbon footprint of different types of diet, to understand which course has the least impact on the environment. It may be unsurprising to hear that a vegan diet generates the smallest footprint, at only 0.7 kg of carbon dioxide per 1,000 calories consumed. On the contrary, the keto diet - which consists of high fat and low carb eating - was found to be the least sustainable, generating almost 3 kg of carbon for every 1,000 calories consumed. To reduce the impact of keto diets, it’s helpful to understand the specific impact of individual products within the same category, enabling targeted switches that reduce the overall footprint of the diet type. [Euronews]
Brand Spotlight - Arla
The dairy cooperative has created the Sustainability Incentive Model, and will set aside up to €500m of its profits each year to run the scheme. Under the Model, farmers will be paid more per kilogram of milk if they are proven to be taking action to reduce emissions across their value chain. As one of the largest dairy companies in the world, this strategy will help thousands of farmers secure long term stability, as well as helping them to shift to more environmentally friendly methods of production. [Edie]
Deforestation reduces rainfall: Callum Smith and his team have discovered concrete evidence that deforestation is reducing rainfall across large parts of the tropics. They estimate that by the end of the century, if the rate of deforestation in the Congo was to continue, rainfall in the region could be reduced by between 8% and 12%. This will have a catastrophic impact on biodiversity, farming, and could threaten the viability of the Congo forests - one of the world's largest stores of carbon. [Nature]
“A new joint study from PwC UK and the London Business School (LBS) analysed executive pay outcomes and links of the 50 top European blue-chip companies on the STOXX index. The analysis found that 78% of these companies have now introduced some sort of carbon target in executive pay, with pay-outs averaging 86% for disclosed targets last year.”Source: PwC
The Big Picture
The food and agriculture industry is at the heart of the climate crisis, generating around a third of man-made greenhouse emissions. And while the challenge of reducing its impact may seem beyond our grasp, it is one that we all have the power to tackle.
We believe that the solution lies in climate transparency. That’s why we’re equipping businesses with the means to evaluate and communicate the emissions of their products. This, in turn, means consumers are armed with credible, independent information, which can be used to make more sustainable choices.
We know that many people want to take climate action but lack the necessary tools and information to do so. We're confident that, armed with the right knowledge, everyone can and will do their bit to build a greener, more sustainable food system.