In coordination with the Rio+20 conference that took place in Brazil last week, Fairfood International, a professional non-profit organization striving to be a catalyst for change towards a sustainable and a fair food system, just released a set of documents titled “The Food Future We Want”. The documents follows the structure of “The Future We Want” which was a document compiled by Rio +20 organizers outlining the objectives and expectations for the conference and beyond. It aims to demonstrate the vital role the Food and Beverage Industry plays in making changes and ultimately achieve a sustainable food economy. Similar to the Rio document, Fairfood International’s piece demonstrates how significant the private sector is in making these sustainable development changes in addition to calling for global policy frameworks. By targeting the Food and Beverage industry—an industry that due to its large size significantly impacts on waste, water, and resources—it is hoped sustainability efforts will flourish. To clearly demonstrate what changes Fairfood International urges the industry to make, “The Food Future We Want” includes six demand areas that tie into the six priority areas on the Rio +20 agenda.
Six demand areas:
- Decent Jobs
- Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture
- Disaster Readiness
“The Food Future We Want” includes a separate section for each of the demand areas that introduces the subject as a whole and delves into the current issues and potential solutions in that area, specifically related to the Food and Beverage Industry. While the exact problems currently faced in the sustainability world differ depending on the area, whether it is water or energy, approach. According to Fairfood International, the only way big companies and corporations in the industry are going to be able to take the necessary steps to achieving a sustainable food economy, is through implementing sustainability efforts and practices in the core of their companies and making it a priority.
Sustainable agriculture and food systems specifically are vital for not only creating food security, which allows people to have reliable access to nutritious food, but also greatly contributes to the overall welfare of people, food and nature. Sustainable food systems ensure that food is produced without severe damage to social, environment or economic means. This type of agriculture is contributing to the greater good in all areas and doing so in an efficient manner. The issue of adapting new agricultural practices and creating access to healthy foods is significant for a variety of sectors spanning from people to the environment, and in order to progress further and meet the demands made, food industry must make sustainable food systems a priority.
Unless the food industry commits to improving irrigation and water services or investing in projects that convert high agricultural waste to energy, the sustainability principles created at Rio Earth in 1992 will continue to see little progress and we will remain at a distance from food security and a sustainable economy.
To read the “The Food Future We Want Today” and see the detailed list of demands for each area, check out: http://www.fairfood.org/2012/06/the-food-future-we-want/