Toast Ale has launched Rise Up, a campaign to raise awareness of our broken food system, and galvanise action to fix it for people and the planet.
Food production is the biggest impact humans have on the planet, yet a third of all food is wasted — that’s about 1.3 billion tons per year. Toast is on a mission is to change this.
For Rise Up, Toast is releasing a series of limited-edition beers brewed in collaboration with fellow B Corp brands Divine Chocolate, Teapigs, Hobbs House Bakery, Oddbox, Rebel Kitchen, Rubies in the Rubble, and Café Direct.
The beers will be released sequentially as a countdown to COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties being held in Glasgow in November 2021. Each beer will highlight different elements of the ecological crisis, and the systemic change needed to the food system to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.
The first beer is released today as an ethical antidote to Black Friday. It’s a 6.2% ABV Chocolate Stout brewed with Divine’s cocoa powder and surplus fresh bread. The beer is rich and velvety, says the brewer, with undertones of vanilla, liquorice, and dark fruits, and the label notes:
“Food production is the biggest cause of deforestation, as trees are cleared to graze animals and grow crops. But one-third of food is wasted. By reducing food waste, and preserving and replanting forests, we can mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity.”
All profits from the beers will go to the environmental charity Feedback, to support its campaigning work on food systems in the lead-up to COP26.
Toast is also calling on drinkers to be activists. A QR code on the can directs people to Toast’s website where they can learn about each beer and the environmental message it carries. They can also write to their MP using a simple form, asking them to be an advocate for climate and nature, and to take the food system into account in environmental policy.
Toast’s co-founder and chief operating officer, Louisa Ziane, said: “We want to share positive actions that everyone can take, including not wasting food, eating more plants and less meat, and supporting responsible businesses like social enterprises and B Corps.
“But the problem is so huge and urgent that discrete, individual actions are no longer enough. We need ambitious, sustained action by policymakers, businesses, and citizens to deliver transformational, systemic change.”
The B Corp community — businesses that have been certified as meeting minimum standards of social and environmental responsibility, transparency and accountability — is leading with bold commitments and a clear action plan.
“But we need legally-binding targets and progressive environmental protection policies that will force all businesses to act and create an incentive for ecological renewal,” said Louisa.
• The beers are being sold as 440ml cans on toastale.com now. Draught beer for re-usable growlers will be available from Toast’s taproom, in Southwark, and at Waitrose Unpacked stores from 4th December.