While a variety of topics have been covered at COP21, discussions have mainly focused on transportation and carbon-based energy. It is clear that the food industry has a responsibility to play its part in achieving targets for carbon reduction.
Livestock is big business; however, it has long been acknowledged that the livestock and agricultural industry is responsible for a significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions − almost one-third, second only to the energy industry. Anthony Kingsley, sustainability and CSR lead at Vacherin, stressed that it is time for the food industry to step up and help to change these figures.
The nutritional needs of the world’s 7.4 billion people are reliant on 12 plants, from which 75% of our food originates; however, by decreasing meat in our diets, one tonne of CO2 could be saved annually − the equivalent of a 3,000-mile car journey. By growing healthier food and making food choices more sustainable, we can all make a difference.
Alongside these strong environmental and social arguments, the commercial reasons for making these important changes are also a key consideration. As corporate social responsibility (CSR) becomes even more essential in the eyes of both consumers and contractors, only truly sustainable companies will make the grade.
Taking the lead
Leading catering agency Vacherin is taking the lead, making carbon reduction one of its top marketing initiatives. The company believes the whole food industry can make a difference by collectively working towards shared goals, from food machinery auctioneers such as www.clarke-fussells.co.uk/ food machinery auctioneers to those providing logistical solutions and the restaurants themselves. With each contribution, whether large or small, the positive impact could prove significant.
Vacherin’s 2016 marketing campaign − The Vital Ingredient, Naturally − is designed to raise awareness of the quantities of meat and dairy in individual dishes. It is hoped that with more prominent signposting and the introduction of more sustainable options for dining, people will find it easier to reduce their intake.
The programme will include a number of different initiatives, including seasonal dishes complete with collectable printed recipe cards that customers can use to reproduce dishes at home. ‘A Greener Choice’ portion breakdown will place ingredients into five categories: oils, alcohol and added sugar; grains and legumes; meat; eggs and dairy; and fruit and vegetables.