Speaking during an interview with the Food & Drink Federation (FDF), Alara Wholefoods boss Alex Smith says organic food and farming should be at the heart of the UK’s post-pandemic ‘Grow Back Greener’ movement.
The organic pioneer and Alara founder says that while COVID-19 has been ‘terrible in terms of the shocking disruption and dreadful loss of life’, the pandemic needs to be put into perspective in the context of the climate crisis: “Climate chaos is going to be much worse and a much harder thing for us to deal with,” Smith tells Ian Wright, chief executive, FDF.
It’s not just about greening electricity and factories; we need to think about the embedded CO2 in all the food that is being sold
“That’s why gaining a better understanding of the profound climate impacts that food production has is so vital. Food production accounts for around one third of climate change gases, and 10% of all climate change gas on the planet is nitrous oxide, mainly arising from artificial fertilizers. These are absolutely key things that the food industry is going to have to take on board. It’s not just about greening electricity and factories; we need to think about the embedded CO2 in all the food that is being sold.”
Smith believes organic offers a ‘proven template for sustainable food and farming’ and can be used as a ‘vehicle for transformational change’ for a future which he remains positive about: “There is a real opportunity now for us to go to a really amazing place. It’s not sackcloth and ashes, it’s the next iteration of society.”