With companies across the UK making sustainable changes, is now really the best time to put sustainability in the spotlight? Find out what CEO of Reewild Freddie Lintell told New Food’s Grace Galler here…
Sustainability will be of course a key term in the food and beverage industry. Many businesses throughout the UK are making lasting changes, both to achieve their self-made goals and to satisfy consumer desire for more climate-friendly food systems – but is now really the right time when there are various other pertinent meals concerns?
Speaking to Brand new Food , Freddie Lintell, CEO and Founder associated with Reewild, claimed that there has been a recent shift towards “sustainable purchasing power”, meaning that many consumers are now making the conscious decision to purchase sustainably sourced food.
However , with foods inflation to contend with, has durability fallen off British consumers’ shopping list plus been replaced with affordable basics? Lintell doesn’t seem to think so.
What is usually sustainable food?
According to Sustain Web , there is no legal definition of ‘sustainable food, ’ though some other terms such as ‘organic’ and ‘Fairtrade’ are clearly defined.
Thus, without its own label, the particular definition of ‘sustainable’ meals seems in order to be a lot more subjective. Maintain Web says that this should be attributed to foods that contribute to thriving local economies and sustainable livelihoods, protect the diversity of both plants and animals and the particular welfare associated with farmed and wild species and avoid damaging or wasting natural resources or contributing to climate change.
Nevertheless , Lintell’s stamp of sustainability approval would include “looking into typically the climate impact of each product” to weigh up its eco-friendly status.
Although durability (when it comes to food) has a slightly different meaning depending on who you ask, Harvard University has emphasised that “is more than a trending buzzword”.
Putting one interpretation in bold, Harvard has cited that the most frequently quoted definition was put forth by the UN’s Brundtland Commission on sustainable development in 1987: “Sustainable development [meets] the needs of the present without compromising the ability regarding future generations to meet their own requirements. ”
Why is sustainability appetising for consumers?
Lintell told New Food that customers in today’s society are “leaning towards wanting to buy lower impact products” and research from Consultancy UK agrees, highlighting that will 36 percent of consumers are usually “often or always choosing brands with good sustainability credentials”.
Suggesting that the desire for lasting produce comes both from the consumer themselves and retailer marketing, Lintell emphasised of which education is key in this drive for sustainable purchasing.
“Sustainability is being pushed by some of the retailers. There are already significant developments along with brands adding carbon labels to brand products so that they can educate buyers on which products have a higher environmental effect than others. ”
What’s more, Unilever offers announced the fact that it will be including carbon labeling to all brand name products simply by 2024. This means that consumers will easily be able to see the environmental impact involving their purchased at a glance in the supermarket thus raising eco-awareness.
And it doesn’t stop there, Lintell also claimed of which companies such as Tesco, Carrefour, Costa Coffee plus Aldi will be trialling co2 labels in their stores, making sustainability a hard to ignore term when out in addition to about, perhaps altering purchases for often the greener.
Three ways with regard to companies to reduce their environmental effects
Providing the handy list for companies to follow so that they can get a (metaphorical) green badge connected with honour, Lintell has advised that businesses should conduct life cycle assessments of their products to enable them to identify carbon dioxide emission hotspots within their own supply chain, allowing them to “take action with the back of these assessments so these people can reduce their overall emissions”.
Secondly, Lintell urged companies in order to collaborate with their suppliers so that practices can be holistically improved and emissions can become reduced.
Thirdly, Lintell suggested “moving away from and also carbon intensive producers” as “often, changing one or two ingredients can reduce the carbon emission impression of a new singular product”.
The unsustainable product award goes to…
Even though some businesses have made changes to their particular production process to end up being more environmentally friendly, Lintell cited red meat (specifically beef) as having a particularly negative impact upon the environment.
According to your National Farmers’ Union (NFU) the total exhausts from UK agriculture amounted to 45. 6mt/CO2e (which was around 10 percent for the UK’s total emissions). Significantly, it noted the fact that cattle and even sheep accounted for 26. 2mt/CO2e (5. 7 percent of the UK’s total emissions).
Yet , Lintell optimistically recommended that together with “regenerative farming moving up everyone’s agenda at the moment, grass fed beef can have some sort of significantly reduce impact compared to intensively farmed cattle”. This particular suggests that there is now a sustainable way to consume steak, avoiding the need to make the complete switch to be able to plant-based alternatives to help the exact environment.
In a bid to inform consumers of the sustainable spending habits, Lintell told New Food a little more about Reewild , labelling it a good “climate affect tracking app for shoppers to track their co2 footprint”.
Calling it your “Fitbit regarding your carbon dioxide footprint”, the CEO advised that people “love tracking personalised information about themselves” together with Reewild allows them for you to use the “positive reinforcing feedback loop” to “buy lower result products”.
Lintell also explained how the Footsteps platform will be working to support the food industry by acting as a carbon calculator.
“It is a far more scalable solution as compared to every single brand and additionally retailer conducting bespoke cases which can be incredibly time consuming. Instead, Footsteps enables brands to help carbon score their products using a mix of primary and secondary data. ”
Green power to the people
While it’s great to have the option to buy ‘sustainable’ products within many supermarkets, can Brits afford in order to prioritise durability in the particular current economic climate?
Brand new Food recently reported that food manufacturers are struggling to prioritise sustainability, using 93 % of typically the surveyed food producers not to mention manufactures admitting that “sustainability is no longer some priority”.
Nonetheless there is usually still interest in eco-friendly food production, and where there is demand there is opportunity. Lintell explained that will even though “price is definitely a big factor when it comes to purchasing decisions”, consumer awareness around environmentally friendly products can be “still front and centre”.
Imploring the UK Government to make changes, Lintell concluded: “I think the Government should try and realign some of their subsidy packages in the direction of lower consequence products rather than and also carbon intensive industries to help bring about of which change. ”
Although there is right now widespread availability of sustainably sourced food products, there is certainly still this omnipresent issue of meals waste (both in often the UK and also globally ), suggesting there usually are still changes to be made to ensure that sustainable food consumption gets back on monitor.
However , having the promise of carbon labels about food as well as apps this kind of as Reewild raising consciousness about your importance of sustainability within the foods industry, the exact need intended for individuals to eat food inside a way that is not damaging to the planet is normally overt, and perhaps easier when compared with ever.
Freddie Lintell founded Reewild after completing the Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions course at the College of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Using his deep sector expertise throughout digitising items at retail, and a decade’s worth about knowledge plus experience from working around high-growth technology startups these kinds of as Freddie’s Flowers, he created Reewild to bring climate transparency towards the masses whilst helping food and drink companies achieve Internet Zero targets. The Reewild platform is without a doubt accessible to any consumer, foodstuff brand or even retailer, equipping businesses with the means to be able to evaluate in addition to communicate the emissions in their products and providing individuals with credible, independent information that may be used to create more sustainable choices.
Aldi , Carrefour , Agency UK , Costa Coffee , Footsteps , Harvard University , Reewild , Sustain Web , Petrol station , The National Farmers Union (NFU) , Unilever , United Nations (UN)