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Is the Current Sustainability Model in the Food Industry Truly Sustainable?

26 days ago by Jack Williams

As a business, we speak to a wide span of people from all corners of the food industry, from poultry to potatoes, all businesses are facing similar issues when it comes to sustainability and the question 'Is the current sustainability model truly sustainable.'

One standout moment when talking to various people about this topic was a conversation about the impact of local sourcing versus the carbon footprint of global supply chains. With one of the wettest winters/springs in recent history driving the need for imported produce, it's clear that if we want meaningful change, we need to think about empowering local ecosystems. Investing in vertical farming, hydroponics and aquaponics to grow produce in controlled environments reduces the need for pesticides and minimises land use.

Moreover, is there a need to think from the ground up again when thinking about innovation? New innovative ideas are always welcome but where does the electricity/power come from to get these innovations off the ground and how can we integrate sources of natural power such as the sun and rain? The latest series of Clarkson’s Farm shows just how this is being done through the regenerative farming piece.

The question of are we innovating fast enough is also one that leaves people stumped. Are we able to keep up with the demands of our planet and people? Alongside myself a lot of people I’ve recently spoken to were in agreement that there is a dire need for the younger generation and a new wave of talent to be exposed to the food industry to keep innovation pushing in the right direction.

I recently conducted a poll asking my LinkedIn network who they think should be driving sustainability in the Food/Fresh Produce Sectors, here are the results;

  • 38% agreed that Food/Fresh Produce Businesses should be driving innovation

  • 31% voted for Consumers

  • 23% said Retailers

  • 8% voted for Governing Bodies

But how can food and fresh produce businesses drive sustainability without affecting already struggling margins? Really, it needs support from governing bodies from the start of the process so we can get that supply chain transparency.

I'm intrigued to take this debate further, who do you think should be the driving force behind innovation in this sector or is each group responsible?

You can call me on 01780 480 530 or email me and we can pick this conversation up! If you would like to hear about how we can help you hire an innovative workforce, please contact me.