by BFFF
Apr 26th, 2022
5 mins
BFFF

Foundation Earth was launched in June 2021 with a mission to change our food systems for the better through better quality data and front-of-pack environmental scores. The Brainchild of Denis Lynn, the food entrepreneur who tragically died before he could see his ambition realised, the Foundation is working alongside global giants such as Nestle and Tyson Foods to develop a harmonized approach to environmental impact scoring that can be used across the UK, Europe and beyond.

The “Foundation Earth Method” uses Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to take an in-depth look at the 5 steps of the production process (Farming, Processing, Transport, Packaging and Retail) accounting for Eco Impact of each product, using Carbon, Water Usage, Water Pollution and Biodiversity to calculate a score. The score is then graded from A-E and uses a traffic light system from green to red to easily communicate that score to consumers with an on-pack label and an online certificate.

The approach used by Foundation Earth is distinct from others as it relies on individual product data, rather than aggregated secondary data to calculate its score. This provides producers with accurate, bespoke supply chain information on the environmental impact of each separate product allowing consumers to compare like for like products quickly and easily (i.e. how two different apples each impact the environment).

Understanding and communicating specific data on environmental impacts is crucial to enable consumers to buy more sustainably, triggering targeted innovations for environmentally friendly food production, and effectively supporting future economic growth in the agri-food sector.

To ensure the system is free of Greenwashing, an independent Scientific Advisory Committee has been established. The committee is made up of top scientists such as Professor Chris Eilliott (Queen’s University, Belfast), Dr. Koen Boone (Wageningen University), and Dr. Betty Chang (European Food Information Council). Its purpose is to ensure the scientific rigor of the systems used within Foundation Earth and to assist with the development of an optimum environmental labelling system.

Since its launch, Foundation Earth has grown substantially, having scored nearly 200 products for a wide range of companies across the UK & Europe including Mighty, Mash, Whites and Finnebrogue Artisan, all of whom have committed to putting their scores on pack.

During the next phase of development, the Foundation will be working closely with strategic partners to investigate the correct method for a harmonized approach, develop an automated system to make LCA both quicker and cheaper while retaining its accuracy, and continuing to educate the public on the economic impact of their buying choices.

If you would like to find out more about the Foundation, you can find us online at foundation-earth.org or email info@foundation-earth.org

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