Cool Food - empowering climate friendly food choices on a daily basis by Cool Food Campaign
Jul 2, 2013
Hello team, Thank you very much for your submission! The judges were quite interested, and it generated a lot of discussion. Some feedback is below. Two challenges were identified for you: 1) lack of a defined cost of putting this together, making it hard to assess the economic feasibility, and 2) Coming up with a metric that has sufficient agreement. In this field, there are multiple different metrics for a carbon score. Some have to do with whether it's produced locally, the resources that went in to its production, etc. The judges think you should talk about which dimensions will factor in, why, and how exactly they will be measured in an efficient manner. The judges also noted that the success in a project like this is all about execution: getting relevant stakeholders to buy in, standardization, widespread enough adoption to engender wide understanding and recognition. Getting buy-in from a single influential organization could be key. One judge noted Tesco, a UK retailer, as an example. You may be aware that Tesco was going to put a carbon label on all their products in the U.K., but did not due to a lack of other retailers interested in the scheme and the amount of work required. A different judge recommended having a look at a book entitled, "How bad are bananas?". Best of luck from the 2013 CoLab judges!
Jul 11, 2013
along the lines of GMO labeling (may be some big push back from industry) and I like the "informed eater" concept.
Jul 16, 2013
Great idea! Like your proposed GHG consumption logo, government labels for organic food (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification) have been successful at least in some countries. I can imagine your label idea could have the same impact if it gets rubber-stamped by an authority. I collected some additional information on potential GHG savings and health increase at once at http://greensigma.org/Healthy-Nutrition-saves-Energy.html. Feel free to use it.
Jul 17, 2013
Thank you so much Clemans!
Gerard Wedderburn- Bisshop
Jul 18, 2013
Thankyou judges for your comments, here is our response: 1. Costs To ensure the effectiveness of this global initiative, we propose a staged approach, beginning with developing the Cool Food comprehensive scoring metric and a launch in the virtual realm: an app for android and iPhone. This will ensure low start-up costs and feedback will guide development, and we expect this will attract ‘cool’ young early adopters. Costing to launch this within the first six months is estimated to be: Cool Food scoring metric development $20-$40,000 Android and iPhone app development $30-$60,000 Online presence development $15-$40,000 Promotion (building relationships with partners; use of social and traditional media) $40-$60,000 Translation $10-$20,000 Funding search to take to the next level $20-$30,000 Once consumer acceptance is growing, a food product labeling system would be developed in a country where acceptance is greatest, then extended globally. Costs here are substantial, but when broad market acceptance is achieved, a small royalty or licence fee for displaying the Cool Foods rating would cover costs. 2. The App The “Cool Food app” would work on the major mobile phone platforms (Android & iPhone), and would involve using the camera on smart phones as a bar code scanner with which consumers could scan foods using their phones and pull up climate scores. The scores could include a brief explanation for why the product had high or low scores (e.g. organic, local, pasture-raised, etc.) There are currently several apps that can scan bar codes on food to pull up nutrition facts. (For instance, an app called “Fooducate” provides health scores for foods scanned by the app. 3. Engaging stakeholders The stakeholders for such a project would initially be non-profit food and climate organizations including, but in no-way limited to, Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods and 350.org. As the project gained traction through these spheres, we could introduce scores to brands such as Stonyfield Yogurt (organic), Annie Homegrown foods, etc. Our score could be used by them as a means to promote both their brands and their low carbon footprint. We may also wish to work with supermarket chains to promote their proprietary organic brands. In this way we could build out our inventory of climate scores and gain support for the rating system to extend to most foods one could find at the supermarket. There is also an opportunity to link this app to the many other grass-roots movements that engage communities, such as the surplus food/donated food organisation http://www.bringfood.org/land/. Already our team includes a broad collaboration of: Diana Donlon, leading the Cool Foods Campaign for the Center for Food Safety http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/305/food-and-climate/about-the-cool-foods-campaign Viv Baker, environmental and political activist and blogger on Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/user/VL%20Baker Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, a retired government Principal Scientist now working on the NGO Beyond Zero Emissions plan to make Australian agriculture beyond zero https://bze.org.au/landuse Francesca Allievi, a PhD student in Finland and finalist of the Barilla Centre Young Earth Solutions contest http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/francesca-allievi/28/b63/61b 4. The Cool Food scoring metric The scoring metric has been the subject of considerable discussion by team members. It would appear that consumers are interested not only in the climate impact of their purchases, but also the environmental impact and other aspects such as animal welfare impact and ‘fair food’. This debate is very useful, and we propose to widen it, even to use this discussion in social media as a means of engaging consumers and getting ‘buy-in’, perhaps by running a competition. However, the metric will be rigorously science-based, using lifecycle impact analysis methods. As a starting point, we propose a straightforward climate impact lifecycle metric such as that provided by the Clean Metrics FoodCarbonScope software http://www.foodemissions.com/foodemissions/Faq.aspx#q2 or several others. These partnerships will be developed and metrics adapted in cooperation with those organizations.
Jul 18, 2013
Hi Gerard, It's great to see such a comprehensive response to the Judges' comments. I presume you will incorporate these points in the revisions to your proposal and wanted to urge you to do so, because the Judges (due to time constraints) may not have time to read the comments in detail during their final review. I'm glad to see that you've taken forward the ideas you were working in 2011! Best, Rob Laubacher For the Climate CoLab team
Gerard Wedderburn- Bisshop
Jul 18, 2013
Thankyou Rob, I have done so already. I fondly remember the 2011 competition gathering that you hosted and am very pleased that we have a follow-up proposal from our very energetic team. Great to see the CoLab competition going from strength to strength! :)
Jul 29, 2013
There has been some success with this, for instance labeling on fish. We could use more wide-ranging labeling, though.
Aug 29, 2013
I think this is a great proposal. There is plenty of space for innovation in the food space. For a customer at a supermarket, the choice of what to buy involves several dimensions: 1. Cost for amount 2. Nutritional value 3. Time spent preparing 4. Health concerns 5. Advertising Adding "Environmental Impact" would be awesome. I take it, the plan is a mobile phone app, where you can scan a bar code at the store, and it can inform your choice? === Suggestion: Tropicana Orange Juice did something similar. In 2008, they partnered with cool earth. For every Tropicana bar code you bought and entered online, they saved 100 square feet of rainforest. You might ask them what the customer reaction was like. What they would do differently, or how partnering with a non-profit helped and hurt the effort.