About us

Mission

Questionmark is an independent think tank that wants to contribute to a healthy, sustainable, just and animal friendly food system. With innovative and practice oriented research and advice, Questionmark generates knowledge and motivation among power holders in the food system that helps them take concrete steps in this direction. In addition, Questionmarks' research and advice inspires and supports governments, civil society, media and scientists to facilitate, monitor, regulate and encourage food companies to make a positive impact.

Questionmark and the ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) from the UN. 

Motive

The current food system is not future-proof. For decades, we have seen an increase in lifestyle-related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease; global warming and the decline of biodiversity; growing income inequality and human rights violations; unethical treatment of animals on an industrial scale. The causes behind these trends are the one-sided focus on profit and growth among companies and the false idea that consumer demand determines supply in the market. 

Questionmark believes that transparency around products and marketing helps parties in the food system make healthier, more sustainable, equitable and animal friendly choices.

Strategy

Questionmark conducts fact based research, educates and advises specific target groups and works in partnerships to turn knowledge into concrete action.

  • Research - collecting, categorising, analysing and storing data on food products, assortments, marketing and policies, by developing our own research methodologies, data collection software and database.
  • Educate - creating new insights with power holders in and around the food system and the public opinion in general, by publishing independent research with maximum outreach.
  • Advise - undertaking activities that lead to change of conduct with power holders in the food system, by directly advising companies and governments and through collaboration with civil society, scientists and media partners. 
  • Service - Data services and commissioned research for any party that will use this for goals in line with our mission.

Our values

Our work is always scientific, based on data and constructive. Our own initiatives are also pioneering, value-driven and independent.

Independency

Questionmark is an independent foundation. We guarantee our independence through our governance, our revenues and our integrity policies. Accountability for governance and finances can be found in the annual reports.

Income model

Questionmark's income consists mainly of donations from charitable funds and ad hoc grants from the government.  A minority of the revenue comes from the sale of surveys and data. Thanks to this distribution of income, Questionmark is free to execute the main part of its activities on its own initiative and under its own name.

'On-demand research' is only done by Questionmark for certain non-profit organisations, such as governments, universities and civil society organisations.

Companies can access Questionmark's data through its subsidiary, QMintelligence (site in Dutch). Through a contractual agreement, they will then have access to the database containing all product information collected by Questionmark. Making this data accessible to supermarkets and producers is part of Questionmark's mission, as it enables these companies to improve their products and/or assortment to more sustainable and healthy. The data is also publicly accessible via the website of Questionmark.

Contact us for more information via info@thequestionmark.org

Integrity policy

The quality and reliability of Questionmark's work, is – in addition to the independence of various sources of income - also secured by the integrity of our employees. Questionmark trusts its employees and assumes that they act with integrity when doing research. We have a strict integrity policy in order to eliminate opportunities for conflicts of interest and averse incentives as much as possible. Read our integrity policy here (in Dutch).

Organisation and board

Questionmark is independent and politically impartial. Questionmark decides independently how to apply its research methodology and which companies and products to include. This means that donors, partner organisations, public authorities and other interested parties have no influence whatsoever on our research and product scores. In addition, our public annual report presents all our sources of funding and details of our spending. Questionmark’s subsidiary QM intelligence has the exclusive right to use the Questionmark database. Questionmark is not a quality certificate and does not issue any such certification.

Questionmark has a statutory board. The board appoints the CEO and approves his/ her strategy for Questionmark, which is carried out by the team. Besides this, Questionmark has a scientific advisory board that advises on the research methodology and execution.

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