Regulation and unity vital for food sustainability


THE WORLD is facing a sustainability crisis, climate change, and biodiversity loss — and the need for action is pressing.

Climate change and agriculture are fundamentally intertwined, with one always impacting upon the other. According to NASA, climate change may affect the production of corn and wheat as early as 2030, and agriculture products are the source of almost one-third of global emissions.

Current food production practices contribute 37 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but sustainable tools and practices could remove one gigaton of CO2 emissions by 2050.

The solution lies with farmers, and their connections with investors, to pave the way.

Promoting impact investments and providing farmers with interest-free loans can offer returns for investors generated by sales of CO2 certificates, and improving social and environmental performance.

The European Supervisory Authorities’ creation of Article 9, under Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, encourages businesses sustainability investment.

Predictions indicate that global impact investment market will reach £767.7bn by 2027, giving carbon certificates for investors and supporting farmers with the mass adoption of regenerative practices.

Last month, the UK government also announced that £9.13m would be put toward research and development on three projects.

Challenges such as misaligned incentives must be addressed. Businesses and farmers must prioritise long-term benefits over short-term incentives that harm sustainability. Investing in sustainable agriculture can improve social progress by generating new job opportunities and promoting better pay in rural areas.

Instead of prioritising increasing economic value, it is important to stick to decisions that invest in green opportunities.

Developing economies may find it difficult to find the right balance between harvesting, profit and considerations of the environmental impact. Investments and advice can afford them better options.

Greenwashing is a concern. Consumers are becoming more brand-sensitive, and businesses must ensure that any claims are backed up by evidence.

More must be done to support sustainable farming practices. Building better connections between farmers and investors is key. This is a financial and social issue.

It’s up to all of us to make the necessary trade-offs.

Violeta Gevorkjan is sustainability officer at HeavyFinance