It’s no secret that the environment is not in good shape right now. The impact of climate change is becoming harder and harder to ignore, prompting many to double their efforts in an attempt to protect the planet. This includes our everyday essentials – namely food and drink.
Whether you’re picking up lunch to go in recycled packaging or enjoying a cup of coffee from a wood-pulp paper cup during the morning rush to work, the ways and means that the food and drinks industry is improving its environmental impact are ever-growing.
Along with Electrix, manufacturer of Kabelkanal, we’re exploring these greener options in greater detail. What is the industry doing to continue to innovate its sustainable plans and goals?
Feeding fair trade
Fair trade has become an everyday concept for many shoppers. As the name suggests, fair trade is an arrangement designed to assist farmers and workers in developing countries through better working conditions and equitable trade relationships. Not only this, but it also strives to support and promote good agricultural practices which – in the long run – encourage environmentally sustainable production.
Ruling out the use of agrochemicals that can be harmful, along with reducing reliance on pesticides, means fair trade options actively promote a reduced environmental impact. Stretching from Western Africa to Latin America, fair trade’s positive influence on the food and drink market is constantly growing.
By not only supporting small farmers but helping them to utilise sustainable practices, fair trade is actively embodying a greener future for the food and drinks industry.
It’s not just food and drink that need to be eco-friendly; their trappings do too! Whether we like it or not, first impressions count – and this is particularly true for the food and drinks market. If a product looks good on the outside, the consumer is likely to automatically think it tastes nice too. But design is not the only aspect brands are concerned about.
There are so many unique and innovative packaging ideas on the market at the moment. For instance, beer cans are gradually ditching the infamous six-pack plastic rings in favour of eco-friendlier dots of glue, which keep the beverages together just as well.
Plus, companies are constantly looking for methods of reducing single-use plastic. Indeed, wood-pulp paper bottles and sustainable plastic-free food packaging are slowly starting to stack supermarket shelves. What is more, some food and drinks businesses are opting for sleek carved-in branding on their products as opposed to wrap-around labels. This said, however, most labels nowadays are recyclable and biodegradable anyway.
Sustainable from field to fork
Food and drink often travel far and wide to reach our tables – which isn’t great for the environment. As heavy-goods vehicles account for 25% of CO2 emissions from transportation, it becomes clear that the way in which products reach our shelves should be carefully monitored.
In light of this, a number of farmers markets will not allow vendors to sell anything that has had to travel more than 200 miles. In some cases, the threshold is 50 miles. Not only is this an excellent way to support the local economy, but it also allows consumers to enjoy fresher products while actively reducing their carbon footprint.
Meeting consumer demand
Sustainable goals are one thing, but it goes without saying that the industry follows the demands of the consumer. Ultimately, is it not consumers that brands are trying to appeal to?
For example, health concerns are a primary motivator to buying choices. As well as considering its environmental benefits, sustainable and organic food is particularly inviting, as it is healthier and safer to eat. Furthermore, by providing buyers with eco-friendly packaging options, brands have the chance to increase consumer interest. Indeed, anybody who has at heart the future of our planet will tendentially opt for a product that has gone out of its way to be as green as possible.
There is also the rise of vegan and vegetarian diets to consider as well – naturally, the food and drinks industry needs to cater these new lifestyle choices, and these ones lean towards sustainable values in the consumer.
Our planet is in desperate need of sustainable actions. To make sure it both plays its part and satisfies people’s new necessities, the food and drinks market is slowly shifting towards an eco-friendlier approach that suits both the environment and its consumers.