Food manufacturers hail climate change deal

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

The climate change deal was 'a major step forward', said Richard Clothier, md of Wyke Farms
The climate change deal was 'a major step forward', said Richard Clothier, md of Wyke Farms

Related tags: Climate change, Carbon dioxide, Global warming

Food manufacturers have welcomed the recent deal on climate change agreed in Paris, with Wyke Farms md Richard Clothier describing it as “a major step forward”.

Clothier, boss of the UK’s largest independent cheese manufacturer, told this website: “Global agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is a major step forward.

“It is reflective of the growing confidence in the commercial use of renewables and will push the technical revolution in the renewable sector.”

The deal also opened up opportunity for UK companies looking for a world market for renewable energy solutions. “Of course, this will only come into fruition if the government encourages manufacturers to work with their natural assets as part of a renewable revolution,”​ said Clothier.

‘Clearly a major milestone’

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) hailed the deal as “clearly a major milestone”,​ in the global effort to tackle climate change. But it part of a continuing journey, said FDF head of climate change and energy Steve Reeson.

“It is clear further effort, both globally and within the UK, is needed to limit future temperature rises to less than 2°C.

“FDF members are committed to playing their part in tackling climate change, both within our operations and collaboratively with partners across the food and drink supply chain from producers to consumers. “

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions was the cornerstone of FDF’s Five-fold Environmental Ambition, he added. “Since 1990, our members have achieved a 35% absolute reduction in CO2 emissions, way ahead of our 2020 target. The agreement in Paris and future UK carbon budgets will inform our new ambition on CO2 reduction target, which will be launched next year.”

Wyke Farms boss on Paris deal

“Global agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is a major step forward. It is reflective of the growing confidence in the commercial use of renewables and will push the technical revolution in the renewable sector.”

  • Richard Clothier, md

The National Farmers Union (NFU) judged it was an “historic climate change agreement vital to make food supply more resilient”.

Efforts by the international farmers’ constituency over the past eight years to make agricultural production part of a comprehensive climate change agreement have proved very worthwhile, said the NFU.

‘On the front line of climate change’

NFU vice president Guy Smith said: “Farmers here in Britain, and indeed around the world, are on the front line of climate change.  We are among the first to see the impacts of extreme weather events such as flooding and drought in our daily work.  This historic agreement to tackle both the causes and effects of climate change will be vital to make our food supply more resilient.”

But the food chain must support profitable farming in order to enable such agricultural adaptation, backed by the government providing the right regulatory framework and fiscal incentives, he added.

“Farmers need to be investing in their farms now to make them more 'weather proof' in the face of increasingly volatile weather. Better buildings, better drainage, better irrigation facilities will all be more important in the future.”

But that could not be accomplished “if the food chain doesn't allow farmers to make enough profit to allow for increased investment into the infrastructure of their farms” he warned.

Read why the NFU believes climate change was already reducing​ the quality and quantity of UK harvests.

Meanwhile the Confederation of British Industry welcomed the deal as an exciting opportunity​ for UK businesses.

Paris climate change deal

• To peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century

• To keep global temperature increase "well below" 2C (3.6F) and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C

• To review progress every five years

•$100bn a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to further finance in the future

Source: NFU

Related topics: Dairy-based ingredients, Dairy, Environment

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