I’m with several of my PepsiCo colleagues at wintry Davos this week where the forum’s founder says he has never seen so much snow here in the event’s 42 years. Many conversations are predictably about the economic troubles in Europe and the influence of Asia – but my colleagues and I are particularly engaged in agriculture discussions this year. This is due to the release of a new paper, just launched called Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture: A roadmap for stakeholders.
PepsiCo is one of 17 companies that are industry partners at the forum and have contributed, along with other stakeholders and governments, to the paper over the last year and a half. The paper addresses the major challenges of global food and agricultural sustainability based on a vision of agriculture as a positive contributor to food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity. The paper also aims to be a roadmap towards a vision of action to implement business-led and market-based solutions that are explicitly linked to national development priorities. Specifically the paper highlights three key realizations that should drive global action:
- Agriculture provides much more than food
- The world must produce more with less
- Agriculture can better fulfill the world’s most basic social needs
As a global food and beverage company we know we have a significant role to play in agriculture and food security and are quite proud of our actions to date. Sustainable agriculture is critical to our business and several things we are currently working on include:
- Increasing chickpea production in Ethiopia
- Working with corn and sunflower farmers in Mexico
- Partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture to promote sustainable farming in China
But we also know that as the world’s population increases toward a projected 9 billion in 2050, people will be demanding more resource intensive produce like meat and dairy from increasingly limited natural resources, there will be higher risk of price volatility and severe malnutrition will impede human and economic development. We believe that harnessing the power of farmers, industry, governments and civil society through public private partnerships is the swiftest and most thorough way to develop market-based approaches that, in conjunction with policy and infrastructure, make an impact on our agricultural future.
We are pleased to be part of such important and dynamic thinking with the final goal of transforming agriculture to serve all the world’s people. What do you think of the Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture: A roadmap for stakeholders paper, and what solutions might you suggest to the authors?