The global population is set to increase by over two billion in the next 30 years. Malnourishment is endemic, soil quality is in decline and water and other critical resources are becoming scarcer. Nevertheless, agricultural companies have a great opportunity to integrate sustainability into their core business practices in order to meet the growing global demand for high quality food, and do so sustainably.
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently published a report detailing how some leading agricultural companies are rising up to the challenge of sustainable farming. Most of these companies, however, are still lagging behind and have yet to adopt more sustainable practices.
Their efforts are showing results and these external stakeholders are able to drive a transformation that had seemed impossible just a few years ago. Some agricultural companies, including crop nutrition providers, seed companies, farming equipment makers and crop protection manufacturers are adopting more responsible practices in disparate areas of their operations.
Many agricultural companies have also introduced new or improved products, such as crop protection agents, which are more sustainable. The persistent efforts of other stakeholders could soon compel the lagging agricultural companies to adopt sustainability - or be left behind.
These regulators have triggered change by linking farm subsidies to more sustainable agriculture practices. Farmers now have a strong financial incentive to adopt eco-friendly agricultural methods. As regulators and policymakers recognize the correlation between sustainable agriculture and economic growth, they are increasingly willing to address the deficiencies in their country’s farming approaches.
To meet consumers’ needs, some food companies have joined the efforts, doing so in part because it helps them gain a competitive advantage in the lucrative healthier foods market segment. These companies are encouraging farmers to adopt sustainable practices and making it a condition within their procurement contracts.
Image credit: BCG
Vikas is an MBA with 25 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas runs a digital content development company, and personally loves to write on global sustainability issues.