LEXINGTON, Ky. — Agri-food leaders around the world believe the industry can work together to create a better, more sustainable food system, according to the recently released Alltech Sustainability Insights report.
Alltech conducted a global, industry-wide survey to gather insights on the issues that matter most to the agri-food value chain and its stakeholders. In collaboration with Opinions, an independent research agency based in Ireland, Alltech collected insights through 26 interviews with industry leaders and via a comprehensive survey completed by more than 2,500 members of the agri-food industry. This effort presented an exciting opportunity to quantify attitudes and perceptions about sustainability from stakeholders across the agri-food value chain and identify tangible actions to build a more sustainable future.
“Our goal was to listen to the voices of our industry and its stakeholders and develop a robust, future-facing program of insights that are relevant, ambitious and genuinely impactful,” said Tara McCarthy, global vice president of ESG at Alltech. “Our industry is navigating unprecedented disruption, yet it remains confident and committed to evolving toward a more sustainable food system. The key to success will be the development of innovative solutions, but even more critical is the capacity of the industry to work together across the value chain.”
The survey questions were focused on five areas: challenges and opportunities; drivers and priorities; attitudes toward change; support and guidance; and who they believe is going to pay for sustainability.
The key findings of the survey include:
· While four out of five respondents agree that “climate change will make food production much more difficult in the future,” perspectives differ across the regions. A very real series of crises faces the agri-food industry and, for the most part, survey respondents acknowledged the gravity of those challenges and the fragility of our food system. There is a strong level of optimism and positivity however, with 85 percent of respondents agreeing that the food system can rise to the challenge.
· Almost three in four respondents reported feeling that a lot more guidance is needed to support their improvements in environmental sustainability. The need for guidance is expressed most strongly at the latter end of the value chain (e.g., retailers, food-service operators and manufacturers).
· Most respondents agree that regulation is putting pressure on all areas of the supply chain. Respondents were similarly realistic about the need for support for the primary producers of the food that the 8 billion people on this planet eat: 66 percent agree that until the farmer is incentivized financially, things will never change.
· Many recognize that we will not be able to resolve the challenges ahead without a huge degree of innovation and harnessing technology to enable us to feed ourselves sustainably, with 92 percent of respondents believing that technology and innovation are key to more sustainable food systems.
· There is a near-universal recognition that we need a collaborative conversation and effort across the value chain, with 93 percent of respondents agreeing that we all must work together to create a better food system for the future.
“Our industry is navigating extraordinary times, but the opportunities for positive impact are even more unprecedented,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. “Imagine what is possible when we all work toward the shared goals of providing nutrition for all, revitalizing local economies and replenishing the planet’s natural resources.”
For more information and survey results, visit alltech.com/sustainability-insights.