Ready meals company claims carbon neutral status

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

QR codes will feature on packaging, providing carbon data for specific meals
QR codes will feature on packaging, providing carbon data for specific meals

Related tags Supply chain

Ready meals supplier Wild Hare Group has officially claimed carbon neutrality based on a full life cycle analysis (LCA) as it continues its quest to be a net zero food manufacturer.

The brand, which plans to launch a range of Ben & Poppy children's meals shortly, claims to have successfully offset the surplus carbon in its supply chain through a variety of measures. These include tree planting, regenerative agriculture, plans for large scale hedge planting projects and the reversion of arable land to permanent pasture to allow for permanency in the root structure.

Within the Wild Hare’s carbon footprint assessment, all aspects of farming have been reviewed, including reducing the use of tractors to lower diesel emissions and the stopping of tilling. 

Carbon tracking start-up Reewild delivered the LCA, using its Foodsteps methodology. The two brands are now set to combine their focus on providing product level climate transparency by using the latest QR technology and unique landing pages to offer clearly defined carbon data to consumers.

QR codes

Individual QR codes will feature on the Wild Hare’s ready meal packaging, which, when scanned, will take consumers to a product information page providing carbon data for that specific meal. The data will include a full carbon footprint breakdown, an overall carbon score and the opportunity for customers to offset their own meals via a personal Reewild Portal. 

Reewild has also outlined how the ready meal range achieved carbon neutrality via a new Public Impact Page. The page will outline the offset process, provide the total CO2​ reduction figure and offer examples to clearly communicate the impact to shoppers. For example, the recent offset project restored the carbon equivalent of charging 1,147,959 mobile phones.

“With the ability to offset their meal via the Reewild Portal, every time a consumer chooses to support nature-based solutions, Wild Hare will effectively become a climate positive company,"​ said Dominie Fearn, founder of the Wild Hare Group.

'Climate transparency'

"The technology helps to create a carbon conscious community that is collectively taking action in the fight against climate change. This is essentially what we’re all about, and Reewild’s technology is ensuring we achieve not just carbon neutrality, but climate transparency too.”

Partnering with local Cotswold reforestation project Protect Earth has enabled Wild Hare to plant 150 trees to date, which offsets carbon emissions, enhances air quality, improves soils and prevents flooding and erosion.

“Planting trees is a simple yet rewarding way of removing your carbon footprint and something that will likely be employed by many more businesses going forward,"​ said Fearn.

'Sustainable approach'

“Due to the nature of our business model, our carbon output has always been relatively low, however, teaming up with Reewild allowed us to take our sustainable approach to the next level.

"Our mission now is to create an interactive community where people who consume our meals have the opportunity to actively decarbonise the environment by simply scanning a QR code. The recent COP26 climate summit sent a powerful message across the country that now is the time to take accountability for your carbon footprint and we hope this will provide the opportunity to do so.”

Freddie Lintell, founder and chief executive officer of Reewild said: “Carbon neutrality is a huge achievement for Wild Hare and is a product of their continued dedication to sustainability."

Wild Hare claims its ready meals are cooked fresh every week by professional chefs, with the aim of allowing for optimum nutrient uptake and easy digestion. The meat used in its products are from outdoor animals reared on grass. The poultry comes from high welfare farms, ensuring all products coming from British farmers share the same sustainable objectives as Wild Hare, it said.

The company's meals include Cheesy Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower, British Red Wine Braised Chuck Steak and Chicken Caesar Risotto.

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