Commitments, home-en

Raising awareness, educating, and acting to promote responsible, community-focused eating habits

Maud Fontenoy

There are seven billion humans on Earth, and our planet is also home to all the plants and animals as well. It is therefore essential that we educate both adults and children about how to eat while protecting nature!

For its third ARRONDI charity campaign, Kusmi Tea has decided to support the Maud Fontenoy Foundation and teach children about the environment and responsible, community-focused eating habits.

We spoke with Maud Fontenoy, founder of the Maud Fontenoy Foundation.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

As a passionate sailor, I have spent more time on the water than on dry land! After spending my childhood in and out of boats, I made the North Atlantic crossing alone in a rowing boat in 2003. I was the first woman to complete it, and went on to sail across the Pacific and finish a world tour. A taste for hard work and perseverance inspired each one of my trips.

During my expeditions I saw the full beauty of the oceans, but also their fragility. I am convinced the future of our planet will be decided by how we educate the new generations, and I created the Maud Fontenoy Foundation ten years ago to help protect the environment and the oceans.

I am now very fulfilled as a mother of four children while continuing to fight for a more sustainable environment and promote positive, pragmatic ecology.

What inspired you to create the Maud Fontenoy Foundation?

While on one of my sailing trips I saw a refrigerator floating in the water! I personally saw the seventh continent of plastic and garbage floating in our seas. Our lifestyles and consumption habits have an impact on our whole environment. But you need to be aware of it to ask the right questions and act.

I am certain the oceans are the key to humanity’s survival, and so we have to preserve them and teach our children about the incredible role they play. We should educate them to have a greater awareness from a young age if we want to protect them. As soon as they start school, we need to teach these future adults about the water cycle, marine energy, and responsible, community-focused eating habits.

What are the initiatives led by the Maud Fontenoy Foundation today?

More than 55,000 classes in France work with teaching programs developed by the Foundation every year. From kindergarten to high school, we provide teachers in mainland France and the overseas territories with teaching kits for learning about sea life, marine energy, food, and biomimetics. These kits are created in line with school curriculums and alongside the French Ministry of Education.

Classes can also take part in a series of challenges we have designed for them.

You have several children. What small things do you do on a daily basis to contribute to your project?

We can all act on a daily basis with small gestures that help our environment. Everyone has a role to play. Our consumption and travel habits are the first ways we can contribute.

If I had to set a challenge for us all to complete, it would be to collect and sort our trash to ensure it doesn’t end up in nature. For example, almost 60,000 tons of trash – six times the weight of the Eiffel Tower – were left on the side of the roads and on the beaches in France last year. Don’t you think it’s time to act?

What advice would you give to people looking to adopt more responsible eating habits?

I am committed to eating organic food and trying, modestly, to set an example for my children. Organic agriculture is one the solutions for protecting our environment as it takes into account the impacts of production methods on both the medium- and long-term.

Sustainable agriculture opts for a responsible approach instead of dealing with problems as they appear. By choosing products produced according to sustainable agricultural methods, we become actors through our consumption habits. We also help promote an agricultural system that creates less pollution and reduces the overuse of natural resources.

Finally, by eating seasonal fruits and vegetables from sustainable, local farms, we participate in the development of responsible eating habits and therefore responsible agriculture.