Making food supply chains more transparent
There is little alternative but to develop strategies and utilise technological tools to help make dramatic shifts. There is a short space of time available to limit climate change to within 1.5°c above pre-industrial levels. And less than 30 years left to achieve the Governments net zero target by 2050.
The climate emergency is real, and thus deploying innovative technology to aid our journey towards meeting our climate target is now imperative. Foodsteps is a key example of such technology, a tool that companies can implement to monitor their carbon footprint and help them adapt to a more sustainable way of operating.
Foodsteps - what exactly does it do?
The Foodsteps platform utilises a database that enables caterers and consumers to view the impact of their recipes and ingredients on the climate. This is done through a rating system of A to E that mirrors traffic light reporting of nutritional information on food packaging. Foodsteps shows caterers and consumers alike the Kg CO2e per serving. It also shows the traffic light carbon intensity (Kg /CO2e per Kg).
The type of measurement enabled by Foodsteps can play an import role in:
- measuring and reducing company food emissions
- creating greater transparency within our supply chains
- educational tool
- directly empowers consumers to make more sustainable food choices.
Product life cycle assessments explained
The Foodsteps platform uses product life cycle assessments which measure impacts across the whole supply chain, from farm inputs, processing, packaging, transportation, warehousing, and last mile distribution, on to cooking and eventually waste.
Product life cycle assessments provide us with the emissions levels produced at each stage of the product journey and really expel the overly simplified concept of a focus purely on food miles, which is now outdated.
Measuring complex scope three food emissions is only one aspect of managing environmental impacts. It must go hand in hand with expert supply chain management to drive much greater levels of transparency from food companies.
The impact of food production
Appreciating what lies behind our food from an environmental and social perspective should be as clear as measuring quality, taste, and cost…
It would not be an exaggeration to say that global food systems are just not sustainable or transparent. They use 70% of global fresh water – much of which is non-renewable, a quarter of agricultural land suffers from soil degradation, produce 30% of global greenhouse gas, are the main producers of nitrate pollution, responsible for 70% of deforestation and biodiversity loss and 77% of our agricultural land is meat and dairy livestock that only produces 18% of our calories.
Our Managing Director at allmanhall, Oliver Hall envisions;
“Over the next few years, when buying food, we will find sustainability or environmental impact data is as readily available as nutrition or allergen data is today. This enhanced understanding and availability of information are vital steps…”