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| 1 minute read

A wholesome mouthful

I should start by declaring an interest - I do like beer in general, and IPA in particular. But the taste is only improved when I read of what Toast Ale are doing to promote biodiversity, in the lead up to COP26. In a clear challenge to the wider food industry, Toast are promoting the reduction of food waste - in context where almost a third of food produced worldwide is wasted.

The food industry, and food production, is contested territory, and perhaps concerns about the impact on our planet have receded during the pandemic - but there are, and should be, better ways of doing food business. In recent surveys, 91% of businesses were feeling the need to respond to an altered ethical climate, where consumers want to know how the food they buy (or the beer they drink) is impacting on workers, the drive for equality - or the planet. In that context what Toast and their partners are doing should be celebrated.

This is because when we see a brewer (or any other sort of business) taking a different stance, or going in a different direction, it makes us more aware that the choices that mainstream businesses make are just that - choices. Business does not have to be how it has always been. We can choose; we can, if we want to, work in a better way. But that will not be automatic; it will always involve choice, and a determination to make change.

There are a whole series of choices we can make; about how our businesses are owned, how we treat our staff, how we recruit, the clauses in our contracts, and how we are financed. There will never be a better time than today to start on the road. Mine's a pint, thank you.

By supporting businesses that operate for the benefit of people and the planet, particularly certified B Corps such as Toast and Oddbox, you can help to change the food system, and change the world.


social business, governance, regeneration, social enterprise, co-operatives and mutuals, community ownership, asset transfer