At the 2022 COP27 meetings in Egypt, the UNFCCC agreed to work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security. This was a big step towards sustainable food systems and compliance with environmental and human rights laws. However, challenges remain for business such as smallholder inclusion within supply chains and scaling regenerative agriculture.
With global issues of climate change, conflict in Ukraine and global inflationary pressures, there is a growing demand for resiliency in managing these disruptors to the food supply chain long-term. At Innovation Forum’s future of food conference
in Amsterdam, leading stakeholders across the value chain will be discussing how business can adapt to these challenges and market shifts. Registrations are still open, register here.
Ahead of the event, Innovation Forum team has been in conversation with leading businesses and experts in highlighting the main areas of opportunity and innovation within the food and beverage industry.
Reality check on agribusiness
Seven leading agribusinesses – Archer Daniels Midland, Barry Callebaut, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus Company, Olam Group and Wilmar International – were assessed on their policies and implementation plans in Oxfam’s latest Moving the Middle report.
The businesses were assessed against five themes: women empowerment, land, climate change, smallholder producers and transparency.
In a recent podcast interview, Matt Hamilton, senior advisor on traders and inclusive value chains at Oxfam and writer of the latest report, shared key findings and recommendations for global agribusiness, downstream companies and investors with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh. He acknowledged the progress on commitments but urged the need for implementation.
You can listen to the podcast here.
EU’s deforestation-linked products ban
In December 2022, the European Commission approved the European Union deforestation-free regulation that bans all deforestation-linked products from being imported into the EU. Innovation Forum’s Bea Stevenson had an in-depth discussion with Anke Schulmeister-Oldenhove, WWF’s senior forest policy officer at the UN policy office, about what business should be on the lookout for once the regulation has entered into force. Among the key updates will be stricter custom controls and infringement prosecutions, and conducting due diligence risk assessments.Click here
to listen to the full podcast.
The incoming EU regulation is currently being regarded as a major step for “deforestation-free” trade
and “breaking the chains” from deforestation-linked commodities
. There are inevitably some potential unintended consequences of this approach. During a recent conversation, Olivier Tichit, director of sustainability at Musim Mas, and Ian Welsh discussed the challenges of the EU regulation and the importance of a landscape approach alongside verified deforestation-free programmes.
You can listen to this podcast here.
Farmer innovation on-the-ground
With growing environmental pressures, farmers are among the most vulnerable to climate hazards. Support on climate risks and adaptation from upstream businesses is therefore crucial. In partnership with CottonConnect, Innovation Forum hosted a webinar to discuss the leading strategies for climate-smart agriculture and build resilient livelihoods.
CottonConnect’s south Asia head of farm operations, Hardeep Desai, Cafédirect’s CEO, John Steel, and Innovation Forum’s moderator Tanya Richard highlighted the importance of income diversification for smallholder farmers and the role of regenerative agriculture in increasing climate resilience.
Listen to the full webinar recording as a podcast here.
Placing farmers at the centre of multi-stakeholder collaboration is important. Here are some more good case study podcasts, hosted by Ian Welsh. Click here
to learn about Cargill’s livelihoods development programme. For information on Earthworm Foundation’s collaboration with an Indonesian palm oil business, Laot Bangko, sharing their progress and challenges, click here.
Regenerative agriculture has been in the spotlight in recent years to drive resilient agricultural supply chains. Innovation Forum’s Bea Stevenson recently conducted deep-dive research on the need for regenerative agriculture in driving sustainable nutrition. Key takeaways include regenerative agriculture’s positive impacts in soil health, climate change mitigation and long-term food security.
Read the latest article on sustainable nutrition here.