Alara Wholefoods has announced it has become the first cereal manufacturer in the world to declare the Scope 3 CO2e – the most demanding measure of carbon emissions – of its products.

Working with researchers at the University of Westminster, the company has calculated the CO2e for all of the ingredients used in its branded products and will display the emissions declaration on-pack.

“Our view is that climate chaos, though slower developing than the current pandemic, is potentially much more devastating,” comments Alara’s founding director, Alex Smith. “To ameliorate the huge contribution that food and farming make to global heating, food businesses must start taking responsibility for the embedded carbon in the food they produce. You can’t take responsibility unless you measure what the Scope 3 CO2e is.”

food businesses must start taking responsibility for the embedded carbon in the food they produce

Alara is also offsetting the embedded carbon in its products through a partnership with Rainforest Saver, a charity which works to conserve rainforests and alleviate poverty in Central Africa and South America. It employs a pioneering farming technique known as Inga Alley Cropping which involves planting rows of Inga trees and growing crops in between.

“Over a 20-year period an Inga tree will sequester half a ton of carbon, which is about 1.9 tons of CO2,”says Smith. “Now, because of the way we are working with Rainforest Saver and paying for Inga trees to be planted, we are offsetting the embedded CO2 in the products we are selling.

“While these Scope 3 CO2e emissions are impossible to accurately measure for each ingredient 100% of the time I believe the food industry as a whole needs to seriously engage with this work in a transparent way.”

The first products to display the Scope 3 CO2e declarations are the brand’s new Grow Back Greener line of organic cereals: Apple & Cinnamon Bircher; Crispy Fruit Muesli; Fruits & Seeds Muesli; and Original.