Cultivating a resilient future for the food system

Our food system is at a critical juncture. Food-related activities account for just over a quarter of GHG emissions1 and current models of production are one of the most significant drivers of environmental impacts, with major implications for climate stability, ecosystem resilience and business viability. The confluence of these impacts with a projected global population of nearly 10 billion by 2050 is a potential recipe for disaster, and one that is bound to bring about disruption and unprecedented change. Transformation of the food system is the strongest lever we have to take the worst-case scenario of climate change off the menu and ensure the food system continues to thrive in a resource-constrained world. 

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A formidable challenge lies ahead, yet if we get equipped with the understanding and tools, building a resilient food system that optimizes both planetary and human health is mission possible.

It’s a fact that has become increasingly clear over the past year. First, the release of the EAT-Lancet report in January laid out global scientific targets for sustainable food production. The report ushered in a long overdue period of introspection for the food sector and sparked some great conversations about what a sustainable future for food looks like, and what it will take to get there. EAT-Lancet’s clarion call for a global dietary shift, in particular, has produced some thought-provoking debate around whether meat has a place at the table of the future and how to make sustainable food available to everyone. (Check out The beef about burgers for more insight into the discussion). 

Momentum is also gathering around the critical importance of land, both as a source of GHG emissions and as a climate change solution. The devastating fires in the Amazon and the findings of the latest IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land provide unequivocal evidence that the food and beverage sector must change its relationship with land if we want to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, mitigate risks and ensure food security. Natural climate solutions are emerging as a promising tool to help companies transform their production models to be sustainable and regenerative. 

There’s a lot on the line and the case for action has never been clearer. Businesses are onboard, but many don’t know where to start. For those further along on the sustainability journey, identifying next steps can also be a challenge. 

sustainable food

To help companies drive and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future for food, Quantis is releasing Dig In, a report-guide covering the top sustainability priorities for the food and beverage sector while providing the landscape of business actions that will cultivate a sustainable food system. Launching on #WorldFoodDay, October 16th, the report will help companies to focus on the topics that matter and to develop tailored strategies and solutions that will have the most meaningful impact across their supply chains. As we work together, we will collectively raise the bar for the entire industry.

A formidable challenge lies ahead, yet if we get equipped with the understanding and tools, building a resilient food system that optimizes both planetary and human health is mission possible.

Let’s dig in.

(1) Vermeulen SJ, Campbell BM, Ingram J SI. 2012. Climate change and food systems. Annual Review of Environmental Resources 37, (Available from: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-environ-020411-130608)