Brits are blind to food biodiversity crisis

As concerns for the environment grow, biodiversity loss is misunderstood

The loss of biodiversity is said to be one of the biggest crises our planet faces, yet few people are aware of its biggest cause; producing enough food to feed 7.7 billion people on Earth, prompting an urgent call for action in the food industry.

According to a new report, only 5% of people said food production or intensive farming gives them most cause for environmental concern, even though one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions comes from food systems.

The report also revealed that only a third say they understand what biodiversity is. This compares to 80% for ‘Climate change’, 79% for ‘Global warming’ and 74% for ‘Deforestation’ – all which contribute to the loss of biodiversity.

While understanding is low, the report indicates that people grasp the severity of the crisis with 68% agreeing with the statement “Maintaining biodiversity is essential for the survival of humankind.” Eighty per cent of Brits also say they are now concerned, very concerned or extremely concerned about the negative impact our species is having on the planet and its biodiversity.

The research, commissioned by natural and organic food company Ecotone – owner of Clipper Teas, Whole Earth and Kallo – also revealed that:

  • Ten times more people said their biggest environmental concern was climate change and global warming compared to biodiversity loss
  • The majority (62%) look to David Attenborough above other organisations like Greenpeace (45%), to protect biodiversity
  • Bees are the buzzword of biodiversity as 72% of UK grocery shoppers say they are most concerned about losing bees and other pollinators, closely followed by polar bears (59%) coral reefs (56%) and tigers (54%).
  • The most damaging human activities on the planet were said to be plastic pollution (33%) and deforestation (26%).

“The food industry has a duty to make biodiversity loss, a complex issue, tangible and easy for people to digest. We need to help them associate the food they buy with the impact on the planet from the land to grow the ingredients, water used in production through to the end packaging.”, says Emma Vass, CEO at Ecotone UK.  “Biodiversity is perceived as important, but it is not fully understood. To build a better future for all life on this planet, we need to start building awareness and tackle the biggest environmental threat of them all; the current food system.” 

Biodiversity loss is a growing problem. The UN recently reported that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

Ecotone is a mission-led business committed to charting an alternative path to the dominant, industrial food model that is damaging the planet.

Find out more here >

Source: Ecotone

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