Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. Net zero is reached when the amount added is no more than the amount taken away.
The FDF said is already working closely with stakeholders across the farm-to-fork supply chain in responding to the climate crisis and in advancing the net zero ambition to 2040.
Earlier this year the trade body published its Ambition 2025 progress report, which highlighted the achievement of reducing onsite carbon emissions by 55%, five years before the 2025 target.
However, with emissions from the supply chain accounting for the majority of food and drink products’ carbon footprint, the new 2040 target covers all embodied carbon, the FDF said.
To offer support to food and drink businesses, the FDF will launch a Roadmap to Net Zero project, which will look at areas including ingredients, packaging, manufacturing, distribution and storage and the role of customers in reducing the carbon footprint of food.
This roadmap and accompanying ‘handbook for businesses’ will be launched at November’s 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, and will be accompanied by a wider programme of events this year to engage with FDF members and the wider sector on the journey to net zero.
“We are delighted to announce the FDF’s Net Zero by 2040 ambition,” said Emma Piercy, the FDF’s head of climate change and energy policy.
“Leading the sectors’ progress in decarbonisation requires essential collaboration across the supply chain, and together we are driving the delivery of net zero food and drink products on supermarket shelves by 2040.
“In food and drink manufacturing, the programme of support provided by Government and industry associations are key drivers to building momentum on net zero,” Piercy added.
The Government’s net zero business Champion, Andrew Griffith MP, said: “I welcome the ambitious steps being taken by the Food and Drink Federation in launching their 2021 work programme on net zero and the commitment to being net zero by 2040.
“This pioneering target in such an important sector of the economy will strengthen the UK’s position as a global climate leader in this year of COP26.”