About us

Vision

At Questionmark we want people to live healthy lives, on a healthy planet, with respect for humans and animals. Unfortunately our current food system is one of the major causes for the increase in lifestyle-related diseases. In addition, the way our food is produced is in many cases the cause of the decline of nature and the environment, growing inequality and human rights violations and the mistreatment of animals.

One of the root causes of these problems is that our economic system is focused on profit and growth and the believe that consumers dictate the market. At Questionmark we believe this focus needs to change. We believe the world and everyone on it will be better off when our economic system focusses on wellbeing of all people and allows organizations to thrive without transgressing the boundaries of the earth’s natural systems.

Mission

That's why, with the Superlists and other studies, we turn directly to producers and retailers to persuade them to make their products healthier and more sustainable.

Core values

  • Pioneering; 
  • Value-driven;  
  • Data-driven; 
  • Scientific;  
  • Independent;  
  • Constructive.  

Motive

Fortunately, in recent years, more and more parties understand the need to adapt our food system to a long-term sustainable model. Questionmark has been a major initiator in this movement since 2014.

However, there is still much to do before that transition is complete. That is why Questionmark continues to target the large food producers, supermarkets, farmers and smaller producers, the unfair and harmful cost calculations, price wars and other hidden interests.

This is our motivation.

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 .

Revenue

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 organizations, such as governments, universities and civil society organizations.

Food producers and supermarkets can use Questionmark's data through its subsidiary, QMintelligence. 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.

Strategy

To spur competition between companies through transparency, we:

  1. Collect health and sustainability data on all supermarket food products, promotions and other types of marketing and make this information easily findable through our website and app.
  2. Rank products and brands per category and supermarket chains as a whole, from the most to the least healthy and sustainable, according to science-based methodologies – providing insights for companies to improve their products, supply chains, assortments and marketing.
  3. Target policy makers in government and influential, critical and trendsetting ngo's and consumers. We convey information in a neutral voice so people can form their own opinions, while encouraging them to take their values and opinions with them into the public debate and into the supermarket.

Impact

We monitor the impact we have on producers - including farmers and factories - adjusting their supply chains and reformulating their products, supermarkets changing their assortments and marketing, companies in general becoming more transparent in their communication on health and sustainability, and certification schemes lifting their standards. Read more in our impact stories.

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 organizations, 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 directors and decides on the strategy of 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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