When New Zealanders Jill Bradley and her partner Keith visited an organic farm that used seaweed to improve the soil, it changed their lives forever. They researched which seaweed had the best qualities, and started a business to supply farmers with natural biostimulants. Some twenty-five years later, Agrisea is a sizeable player in New Zealand’s agricultural sector. The Sailors for Sustainability, Floris and Ivar, speak to Tane and Clare Bradley, the company’s current directors, to learn more about their business model and their products’ environmental benefits.
In addition to an event in Chicago in May, the Innovation Forum's Future of Food Conference will also take place in London on the 4th-5th of June 2019. This two-day business conference will identify the main areas of opportunity and innovation within the food and beverage industry. Specifically, the aims of this conference are to promote candid discussion between key stakeholder groups, highlight leading practices and the companies successfully implementing policies, showcase the latest technology solutions on the market and facilitate collaboration to further drive innovation and progress for the future of food production and consumption.
The world population is projected to rise to 9 billion people in 2050. In order to be able to feed the world by then, food production will need to increase intensely. However, this intensification needs to be carefully balanced since environmental impacts are major. The livestock sector in particular is under scrutiny, since it is the world’s largest user of natural resources with 80% of all agricultural land accounts for grazing or animal feed production, and 8% for global water use. With the introduction of different future scenarios to fulfil future protein need such as alternative diets, insects as a protein source and stem cell grown meat, the livestock value chain has to get serious about its sustainability approach.
As companies collect more and more non-financial data, it's worth exploring what else can be done with the results of this huge effort. Novozymes shows that companies can turn this burden into a business opportunity by capturing the value that is harnessed in the abundance of data. Using big data techniques, peer comparisons are made and the non-financial data is harvested and combined with market information resulting in clear prospects.
Ten years ago, newcomer Tony’s Chocolonely disrupted the chocolate industry with its purpose of making chocolate 100% free of child labor and slavery. Today, big players have started to follow suit. Barry Callebaut, the world's leading supplier of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has set and is working towards very ambitious sustainability goals. Barry Callebaut’s forward-looking approach is an example of inevitable action if we are to have chocolate in the future at all.
The urgency to create systemic change is steadily increasing, and so are live cases that prove that sustainable agriculture is building its momentum. One of the convincing cases is Sundrop Farms, an innovative leader in sustainable agriculture, growing fresh fruits and vegetables using renewable inputs to create a circular economy business model.
What do the Rana Plaza clothing factory disaster and the Chinese food safety scandal that, according to Reuters, caused a 4.2 percent share price decrease for Yum Brands have on common? They are two of the many examples of the costs and risks that companies can incur when a sustainable and integrated supply chain management is not in place. On the other hand, responsible management comes with many benefits, including greater access to capital and new markets, reducing the cost of material input, energy and transportation, and spurring innovation in order to meet evolving customer and business partner requirements. The business case is clear.
At the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, a brand new platform was launched with the aim to achieve healthy, enjoyable diets for all, that are produced responsibly within planetary boundaries. A total of 25 global companies such as Givaudan, Solvay, Unilever and FrieslandCampina joined together to launch FReSH (the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health program) under the leadership of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the EAT Foundation.
On 12 and 13 June 2017, EAT will once again gather 500 of the brightest minds from the fields of science, politics, business and civil society in Stockholm, Sweden. Together, they will discuss progress on implementing solutions in an interconnected way to solve climate, sustainability and health challenges by transforming the food system.
In May 2016, Innocent Drinks was rewarded as the winner of the water category of the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards with its Irri-fresa app. This application supports strawberry farmers in Southern Spain to drastically reduce their water usage. In order to scale up Irri-fresa’s impact, the company has embarked on a journey for which partnering is key.