Quorn is putting the ‘farm to shop’ carbon footprint details of its most popular products on the label – and it’s called on other brands to do the same
- The information will let customers know the carbon impact of the product
- It will initially be available for the top 20 products on the Quorn website
- The company said the details will be included on labels by the end of the year
- It has called on other companies and brands to follow suit to ‘improve choice’
Vegetarian food giant Quorn is going to include the carbon footprint details of every product it sells on the packaging, the company confirmed.
The ‘farm to shop’ information will initially be on its website but will later be included on the labels of its 30 most popular products including mince and nuggets.
The British meat-free food producer is the first major brand to announce it will include third-party verified carbon footprint details on its products.
The company says it is vital information for people wanting to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and called on other brands to follow suit.
The information will show the amount of CO2 emissions produced per kilogram of each product and has been verified by the Carbon Trust, an independent group.
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The ‘farm to shop’ information will initially be on its website but will later be included on the labels of its 30 most popular products including mince and nuggets. They have compared the amount of CO2 per kg for a range of products
It will also show the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent per kg that went into the production of that product – for example Quorn mince is 1.2kg CO2e/kg.
That is 1.2 kg (42oz) of carbon dioxide equivelant for every kilogram of the product.
The company is also working with the Carbon Trust to identify ways it can further reduce its environmental impact to eventually achieving net zero emissions.
Quorn products made from ‘mycroprotein’ enabled savings of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions compared to meat equivalents in 2019, the company said.
This is because the greenhouse gas impact of mycroprotein is 90 per cent lower than beef, a spokesperson claimed.
‘Over the past few years consumer demand for meat alternatives has grown by numbers that we could not have anticipated’, said Louise Needham, Sustainability Manager for Quorn.
‘We are incredibly proud that, as we have scaled up our operations and increased sales of our products, we have continued to make real reductions in our environmental impact.’
A YouGov survey of eating habits found that 50 per cent of people say they eat meat free for purely environmental reasons.
The same survey of consumers found that 64 per cent want to reduce their carbon footprint to protect future generations.
‘For over 30 years, we have been proudly delivering Healthy Protein for a Healthy Planet’, the spokesperson said.
‘We’re delighted we can offer carbon footprint data to our customers, whom we know are actively trying to find ways to reduce their impact on the planet.’
He said that giving people the information they need to make informed decisions about the food they eat is important for the climate.
It will be delivered in the same way as nutrition information and clearly labelled, adding a call for other brands ‘to get on board with us’ in providing the information.
He added: ‘We hope that if other food brands follow suit, we will be able to make better comparisons in our shopping baskets.’
The information will show the amount of carbon dioxide equivelant per kg that went into the production of that product – for example Quorn mince is 1.2kg CO2e/kg
As part of the process of preparing to share information on its carbon footprint, Quorn wanted to verify how its core products compare to animal alternatives.
The company found it’s beef alternatives such as mince had a carbon footprint 13 times lower than the meat version.
For chicken style products such as fillets and pieces, the footprint was four times lower than meat.
Hugh Jones, Managing Director, the Carbon Trust, said: ‘It’s really important that consumers have robust information to help inform their purchases.’
Quorn was originally launched in 1985 as a joint venture between Rank Hovis McDougall and Imperial Chemical Industries.
It was sold to Philippine based food manufacturer Monde Nissin in 2015.
What is meat substitute Quorn made of ?
- Quorn was developed as a meat-alternative in 1960s by British scientists amid fears of food shortages
- Launched in 1985 by Marlow Foods, now sold 4 billion items
- More than a hundred high-protein products ranging from sausages to schnitzel
- Made from soil fungus Fusarium venenatum and grown using fermentation – a process similar to the production of beer
- Foods endorsed by Olympian Sir Mo Farah and footballer Jermain Defoe
- Now owned by Filipino food conglomerate Monde Nissin