• Rise Up, a new campaign by craft brewery Toast Ale, is raising awareness about the environmental impact of our food system in the countdown to COP26.
  • Limited-edition beers, brewed in collaboration with B Corp brands Divine Chocolate, teapigs, Hobbs House Bakery, ODDBOX, Rebel Kitchen, Rubies in the Rubble and Cafédirect will each tell part of the story.
  • The first beer, launching on 27 November as an ethical antidote to Black Friday, is a Chocolate Stout brewed with surplus fresh bread and Divine’s cocoa powder that supports sustainable forestry.
  • Rise Up calls on drinkers to be activists and demand systemic change to our food system by asking their MP to be an advocate for climate and nature.

Craft brewery 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. It’s the biggest driver of deforestation, use of freshwater, source of greenhouse gas emissions, and cause of the mass extinction of species that we are witnessing. Yet one-third of all food is wasted – 1.3 billion tons per year. Toast’s mission is to change this.

For Rise Up, Toast will release 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 Cafe 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 will be released on 27th November as an ethical antidote to Black Friday. It’s a 6.2% Chocolate Stout brewed with Divine’s cocoa powder and surplus fresh bread. The beer is rich and velvety, with undertones of vanilla, liquorice and dark fruits, and the label carries an important message about our forests:

“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.”

Beer lovers can do their bit by enjoying a cheeky pint. All profits from the beers will go to the environmental charity Feedback to support their campaigning work on food systems in the lead up to COP26.

But 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 & Chief Operating Officer, Louisa Ziane, explained “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” Louisa said. “We need ambitious, sustained action by policy makers, businesses and citizens to deliver transformational, systemic change.”

The B Corp community – businesses that have certified as meeting minimum standards of social and environmental responsibility, transparency and accountability – is leading with bold commitments and a clear action plan.

“But”, Louisa added, “we need legally-binding targets and progressive environmental protection policies that will force all businesses to act and create an incentive for ecological renewal.”

At COP26, political leaders from all over the world will agree how to meet the targets set in the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to 2 o C by 2050. A recent study, published in Science magazine, concluded that we have to change the way food is produced to meet the goals set in Paris. The latest policy brief by Feedback sets out how reducing food waste can contribute.

In the UK Government’s 25 Year Plan for the Environment, it committed to leave the natural environment in a better state than we inherited it. Yet Boris’ 10-point plan fails to address the food system. Toast’s latest campaign calls on beer drinkers to Rise Up and hold the government to account, while enjoying beer that does the world of good.

The beers will be available on toastale.com from 27 November 2020 (from £3.50 per 440ml can). Draught beer for reusable growlers will be available from Toast’s taproom in Southwark and at Waitrose Unpacked stores from 4 December.