Large food and beverage companies are facing some of the most pressing global challenges today namely -poverty, food insecurity, water scarcity and resource depletion — many of whom are complicated by rapid population growth, climate change and shifting lifestyles.
Globally, agriculture employs over 1 billion people, many of whom are food insecure; consumes 70 percent of our freshwater; and is estimated to contribute nearly a fifth of total global carbon emissions. More than ever, investors and consumers are looking for companies to demonstrate that they are sourcing their ingredients in a way that respects people and the planet. Long-term investors increasingly expect companies to manage and disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts as evidence of effective corporate governance.
Some major U.S.-headquartered food and beverage companies already are taking action – like Unilever is helping thousands of smallholder farmers improve agricultural practices, enabling them to double or even triple their yields.
Whether we are investors, companies or consumers, we all have a stake in the future of our food. It is becoming clear that the most effective way to address risks and innovate solutions at scale is to work together.