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From farmers to consumers - everyone is challenged, especially the food industry

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Summary

"We can and must do more for a more sustainable and equitable world". The big multinationals in the food industry therefore want to radically realign their business models. The British Unilever Group is particularly active.

Better eating and drinking is essential for the health of ourselves and our planet

What is it about

Food and drink. Both belong to the basic human needs. This statement may seem trivial. But for people who are not just interested in eating or drinking, but in eating and drinking WELL, it is by no means so. This has been confirmed again and again in the Corona pandemic: Whoever does not or cannot pay attention to the quality of food literally lives in mortal danger. Bitter: Because of the Covid19 epidemic, the World Bank estimates that an additional 40 to 60 million people will eat and drink anything they get their hands on. With devastating consequences: In several countries, people have died after drinking their own beer and wine.

Why is this important

However, food scandals are also the order of the day in industrialized countries. Anyone who enters the keywords Food and Scandal in Google will receive over 100 million entries. Add to this the almost endless discussions about the health of industrially produced food. These contained too much sugar, too much salt, too many additives, too much fat and so on and so forth. The list of accusations against the food giants is endless.

Better eating and drinking, however, is not only essential from the consumer's point of view, but equally urgent from the environmental point of view. The task seems gigantic: Because of the still growing world population, the global supply of food must be increased by a good half in the next 30 years, but at the same time CO2 emissions and other environmental damage must be halved.

The big players in the food industry are therefore called upon to take on this challenge. And they know that they must improve both their core business and their environmental performance. According to their own statements, they are also prepared to radically realign their business models. The Unilever Group is particularly committed to this, as it is often one step ahead of its biggest competitors, not only in terms of its environmental policy but also in terms of corporate performance.

In its comprehensive sustainability plan, Unilever is calling for a new productivity revolution that will use all technological possibilities, be they high-tech greenhouses near the cities, harvesting robots or the digitization of agriculture. In addition to the free market with its innovative power, a lot of private capital is also required for this.

The Globalance Opinion

  • The food supply has worked well during the Corona crisis, but the challenges remain enormous: production must be increased by half by 2050, while using fewer and fewer resources, damaging soils, protecting the climate, etc.
  • We have Unilever in our portfolio. They are a positive force for sustainable change in the industry. Stakeholders recognise the company as credible.
  • Even the leader is only the best in relative terms - measured in absolute terms, it takes even more consistency, global cooperation and a tougher legal framework that makes it difficult for free riders to circumvent environmental standards.
  • All companies and stakeholders along the entire value chain, from farmers to consumers, need to shift up at least one gear to enable a truly sustainable life.

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