A new institute to help farmers produce more efficiently and an updated software ‘tool’ that enables farming and food industries to calculate their carbon footprint are launched recently.
The Cool Farm Tool (CFT) was created by the University of Aberdeen in partnership with Unilever and the Sustainable Food Lab to guide farmers over their greenhouse gas emissions and to provide tips on how they might lessen their environmental impacts.
The computer-based tool – also aimed at processors and retailers with sustainability schemes – has already been successfully used by a number of market leaders including PepsiCo, Marks and Spencer and Costco.
PepsiCo have embedded the Cool Farm Tool in their 50-in-5 target – reducing carbon emissions and water use by 50% in five years. They have used the software on more than 80 UK potato farms this year for Walkers crisps, which has lead to benchmarking and the development of carbon action plans, both for the organisation and for individual farmers. PepsiCo plan to expand to other crops within their Quaker Oats and Copella brands. “I like the [Cool Farm Tool] because it’s not a black box. With other tools you can’t do the what-if scenarios. You just pay for the study and are delivered the results. This is a better way of engaging farmers and helping them to prioritize options. Other tools we’ve used give generic mitigation options copied and pasted from elsewhere and don’t always apply to the particular farm in question,” says Mark Pettigrew, Pepsico.
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KEYWORDS: Food & Farming, Technology. Innovation & Solutions, Pepsico, environmental sustainability, Cool Farm Tool, Cool Farm Institute, carbon footprint, Sustainable Food Lab, Unilever, University of Aberdeen, 50-in-5 target