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A coalition of 25 breweries from across the UK and Ireland have published an open letter calling on world leaders to make concrete commitments to tackle the climate emergency at COP26 next month.
Alongside the open letter, each participating brewery has brewed a new beer for the Companion Series, a limited-edition collection of 26 beers that use surplus bread that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Toast Ale, which co-ordinated the series, has supplied pre-prepared surplus crumb and shared expertise with the fellow breweries — including Guinness and Adnams — to enable the creation of their new beers.
There are 2,600 Companion Series boxes available to purchase from today, with £26 from each sale invested in conservation and regenerative agriculture projects.
Toast Ale is partnering with Rainforest Trust UK to protect 3.25 million trees in threatened tropical rainforests, while a collaboration with Soil Heroes will support UK farmers to replenish the health of soils, sequestering 360 tonnes of CO2 as well as holding more water and improving biodiversity. The Companion Series is expected to raise more than £65,000 for these projects.
The limited-edition Companion Series retails at £89.95 and is available for purchase on Toast’s website. The open letter will be shared by breweries across social media today using the hashtag #COPCompanions.
Tristram Stuart, author, campaigner, and co-founder of Toast Ale, said: “It’s exciting to be launching the Companion Series alongside 24 of our companion breweries. Not only are we raising funds for two fantastic organisations doing important work within forest conservation and regenerative agriculture, we’re also sending a message to world leaders, fellow businesses, and society at large that we are committed to collaborating in order to tackle a problem that is bigger than all of us.
“The latest IPCC report reminds us that we have a narrow window to reduce further warming of our planet, and it’s closing rapidly. Food systems are responsible for one-third of GHG (greehouse gas) emissions and 80% of deforestation.
“However, one-third of the world’s food is never eaten, an unnecessary use of the land and resources, and emissions of greenhouse gases, to produce it. As a business dedicated to positive social and environmental change, we’re dedicated to sharing our expertise and ethos with fellow breweries to make progress in reducing these numbers.
“But we also need governments to make the necessary policy commitments, which is why we’re challenging world leaders and COP negotiators with our open letter. We hope that those responsible for making policy decisions and setting international targets at COP will ‘use their loaves’ and work together to take meaningful action for the sake of our collective future.”
The open letter
In the letter, the breweries say they are “laying down the gauntlet” for world governments to follow their lead and to collaborate in order to combat the climate emergency. Participating breweries range from household names such as Guinness to smaller, independent breweries such as Fyne Ales, a family-owned Scottish farm brewery in Argyll.
Jamie Delap, managing director of Fyne Ales, said: “From day one, our farm brewery set out not only to protect our local environment, but to enhance it, too.
“Our corner of rural Scotland isn’t just home to our brewery. Our herds of red deer and highland cattle are fed on spent grain from the brewing process, and we have a long track record of sustainability initiatives we’ve undertaken to ensure our Glen Fyne home thrives for years to come.
“We believe we all have a role to play in protecting our planet for future generations. The opportunity to join Toast’s project and learn more about using food waste to further reduce our impact on the wider environment, and highlight the role of food waste in climate change, was too good to miss — especially with COP26 taking place down the road in Glasgow this year.”
You can read the full open letter here.
Who’s taking part?
- Toast Ale
- Bedlam Brewery
- Better World Brewery
- Brixton Brewery
- Five Points Brewery
- Fyne Ales
- Harbour Brewery
- Hepworth Brewery
- Ignition Brewery
- Northern Monk
- Signature Brew
- Stroud Brewery
- Tap Social Movement
- Tooth & Claw Brewing
- Unity BrewIng Co
- Utopian Brewery
- Wild Card Brewery
- Windsor & Eton Brewery
- Wold Top Brewery