Let's Get Honest with Julia Collins

Let's Get Honest with Julia Collins

We take snacking very seriously, but we are also serious about our impact on the planet. No one knows this better than our friend, Julia! She is a climate warrior, mom, and founder.

We wanted to share her amazing story, so let's #gethonest with Julia👇

Q: Tell us about yourself!

A: I’m Julia Collins, founder of Moonshot.

Q: Why did you start Moonshot & Planet FWD?

A: My connection to food began when I was a child. My grandparents moved from the South to the Bay Area during the great migration to begin the first Black dental practice in San Francisco, and their home was an extension of their practice. Everyone was welcome, the door was never locked, and there was almost always something cooking. 

From a young age, food became an expression of everything that felt good. Sharing food with my community represented safety, joy, connection, culture and love. As I grew up, I also developed a passion for science and technology.

Upon graduating from Harvard, I moved to New York City and began my career in food, spending a decade working with and building restaurants across NYC. After some time under my belt managing food businesses, I helped to launch Mexicue - a Mexican barbecue fusion restaurant.

When I gave birth to my first son, Mosi, in 2017 I went from being concerned about climate change to being absolutely obsessed with doing everything I could to take action. So in 2020, I launched Moonshot, leaning into my passion for and experience in the food industry with the vision of building a climate-friendly food movement. 

The experience of building Moonshot opened my eyes to the immense challenges consumer businesses face when trying to design with sustainability in mind. That’s why I decided to multiply the impact of Moonshot by creating a platform that could help all consumer companies measure, reduce and offset their climate impacts.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge in changing the cracker game to become climate-friendly?

A: Of course, food product development, branding, and go-to-market strategy are all challenges every CPG brand faces. However, the hardest thing about creating Moonshot was accessing reliable and complete data at the ingredient level. I was surprised by how much time and effort was involved in truly understanding where ingredients come from, how they are grown, and the outcomes of farm-level practices. 

We are so blessed to work with incredible suppliers, like Dave and Serena Hedlin in the Skagit Valley in Washington, who are 4th generation farmers and 1st generation regenerative farmers. But without direct access to the farm and field your ingredients come from, it’s not always easy to get a full picture of your product's impact on our planet. 

That’s why I’m so proud of the work we’re doing at Planet FWD. It’s an honor to help the entire industry move forward by providing access to high-quality information all throughout their supply chain, from ingredients to transportation to packaging. This information is what translates into climate action. I believe that a brand's impact is limited only by the quality of actionable information that they have access to.

Q: Why is it important for the CPG industry to move toward a better-for-you, better-for-the planet way of thinking?

A: Did you know more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from land use and food systems? This is one of the climate change statistics that made me wake up and say . . . no more! 

We have less than 85 months to meet global climate goals. Right now, we aren’t on track. But if we all work together, we can be!

Q: In honor of Black History Month, we’d love you to share something about your experience as a black leader in the CPG space.

A: Every day, I live and work in my authentic truth. By simply being my full, Black, female self in a position of power and strength, I push back on societal norms about what Black women can or should do. 

It’s a privilege to be living in this moment where we still have a chance to stave off the worst effects of climate change. For me, living my authentic truth means welcoming people to the table (literally and metaphorically) and welcoming them into the climate-friendly food movement.

Q: What is your favorite way to eat tbh?

A: Smothered on top of our Sourdough Sea Salt crackers with some fruit on top!

If you enjoyed Julia's story, check her out on LinkedIn and learn more about Moonshot & PlanetFWD