Our Top Stories
Balancing food security and rewilding: In the past, many were quick to draw a distinct line between farming and rewilding, according to Wicked Leeks. But a new initiative between Knepp rewilding estate and Sussex farmer James Baird hopes to show the rest of the UK that rewilding actually creates an environment in which it’s possible to do more efficient, collective farm work. This new collaborative approach shows how the UK can make large-scale changes for nature - such as flood plains that could cross multiple areas of land - and can also reconnect landscapes that have been fragmented by human activity. This is all seen as possible while maintaining current levels of production through more sustainable farming methods. [Wicked Leeks]
How to convince shoppers to go green: Rising prices, food shortages and extreme weather events are all impacting supply chains, collectively shifting the need for sustainability from a “premium nice to have” to an issue impacting health and wallets. However, FoodNavigator reports on the opportunity created for sustainable products, where brands can tie sustainability to individual benefits that can help with health factors and rising bills. A great example was Barilla’s latest ‘passive-cooking’ campaign, inviting consumers to cook their pasta for only two minutes before turning off the hob, putting a lid on the cooking pan and waiting a few minutes more for the steam to finish cooking the pasta. The method reduces carbon emissions by up to 80%, but it also saves consumers 80% of their energy bills. It crucially ties the personal and planetary benefits together. [FoodNavigator]
Microplastics in the clouds: Thred highlights a new study in Japan where tiny particles of plastic have been found in clouds for the first time. Microplastics have already been found in even the most deserted and isolated parts of our planet, as well as inside human blood, lungs, and newborn babies. Researchers now worry that the presence of microplastics in clouds could contribute to a changing climate and pollute many of our most vital resources, such as freshwater and food. [Thred]
Business Spotlight - Flora
Flora UK spreads are vegan again - three years after the company added buttermilk as an ingredient - as Flora’s parent company Upfield reviews its global climate commitments. The life-cycle assessments (LCA) of the new range found that the products have on average a 68% lower climate impact than conventional dairy butter. As for using this data for carbon labelling, Upfield says that it over-delivered on its 2021 labelling target by 20%, with 120 million packs covered with carbon footprint information. It now plans to extend this figure to 500 million by 2025. [Green Queen]
Wildfires to increase: Seth McGinnis and his team have analysed the trends of recent wildfires, and found that simultaneous outbreaks of large wildfires will become more frequent in the Western United States this century as the climate warms, putting major strains on efforts to fight fires. In addition, the peak seasons for simultaneous blazes in various regions will become several weeks longer by the end of the century. This is a stark warning for the need for immediate mitigation plans and a multiplication of resources. Particularly as crews and equipment are currently moved around the country due to seasons usually occurring at separate points in time. [ScienceDaily]
“69% of chief executives have embedded ESG into their business as a means of value creation, underscoring the recognition that delivering against ESG issues remains integral to their long-term corporate strategies. Nonetheless, more than two-thirds of executives (68%) remain worried that their progress on ESG isn’t strong enough to stand up to stakeholder scrutiny.”Source: Edie / KPMG 2023 CEO Outlook Report
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.