October 30, 2020

SERVICES  |  RESEARCH  |  EVENTS  |  WEBINARS  |  BLOG  |  ARCHIVE

Food! Will We Have Enough to Feed an Ever-Hungrier Planet?
– Are Food & Ag Industries “Sustainable” – Let’s Explore…


The United Nations projection is for today’s global population of an estimated 7.6 billion people to expand to a global population of 8.6B by 2030 and 9.8B by 2050...and then to 11.2 billion in 2100 (says the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs report, June 2017). Each year, says the UN, 83 million more people are added to the world’s population.

If we go back 1,000 years, the world population was an estimated 300 million people. And then, only 4% (about 4 million square kilometers) was used for farming, according to the University of Oxford (ourworldindata). Today, half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture (excluding deserts, beaches, rocks, etc.) – that is 51 million KMs. There is also land (additional 40 million KMs) used for livestock, meat, and dairy. Protein supply is largely from plant-based food for much of the world population. (Data – UN Food and Agricultural Organization).

So as the population grows and grows, will we be able to feed millions and then billions of additional people? Where will the capital be needed for food & ag expansion?

Will investors and other stakeholders have enough information – especially reliable, comparable data sets – to understand where the food & ag industry players are…to meet the daily food needs of many more people…to use available arable land wisely and sustainably…to understand what food manufacturers and marketers are doing to be more sustainable and responsible?

We’ve selected a few items in our Top Stories to explore these questions, especially as investors look for agriculture and food trends that fit into the ESG bucket.

 

Top Stories

 

  1. Forbes contributor Hank Cardello looks at the food industry and the magazine’s list of “100 most sustainably managed public companies” – finding food processing companies “a no show among the top companies”:

    Food Industry is a No-Show in New Sustainability Study (Source: Forbes)

  2. This ESG / Financial Times article explores why the food sector is difficult to assess from an ESG perspective – to quote, “ESG investors are finding it hard to incorporate food in their portfolios…food businesses’ far-reaching impacts are difficult to measure, making it unclear whether they meet ESG criteria”: 

    Food Proves Hard for ESG Investors to Digest (Source: Financial Times)

  3. This article talks about ESG not being covered in farm media and opines that primary producers don't have to rely on ESG reporting to get access to capital. So – it seems like these factors could cause difficulty for downstream customers to report on the ESG metrics of their supply chains. Contributing analyst Elaine Kub advises the ag industry that convincing investors a company is operating sustainably and making long-term decisions…and deserves to be in the “ESG category”, but is nary a mention of this in farm media…yet:

    ESG: Another Acronym for Ag to Know (Source: Progressive Farmer)

  4. 4-A new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) charts organic ag sales have increased 31% from 2016 to 2019:

    2019 Organic Survey Results Show Sales Up 31% from 2016 (Source: USDA)

Sources:

Sustainability Standard Setters & Policy Makers
SEC, SASB, GRI, IIRC, FSB-TCFD
More Stories
ESG / Sustainable & Responsible Investment
Asset Owners & Managers, Ratings Agencies
More Stories
Corporate Sustainability / ESG
Disclosure, Reporting, Corporate Initiatives
More Stories
Stakeholders That Matter
Developments, Trends, Corporate Actions Affecting Stakehold
More Stories
Global Sustainability: Forward Momentum
News & Developments of Note
More Stories
Sustainability Data in Focus
Developments in Data, Research, Trends
More Stories
Upcoming Events
         
These feeds are provided for G&A Institute in partnership with 3BL Media. 3BL Media distributes press releases, blogs, videos, podcasts, reports, newsletters and more to the growing audience of stakeholders interested in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability. Visit 3BLMedia.com for more.  

'Our Income Went to Zero': How One Business Owner Is Pulling Through the Pandemic
Blog from Truist / October 30, 2020

"Ask the Expert" Q&A With CTIA's Michelle James on Their New Smart Cities Playbook
Article from Qualcomm / October 30, 2020

How Johnson & Johnson Is Helping Over 40,000 Employees Exercise Their Ability to Vote in a Pandemic
Article from Johnson & Johnson / October 30, 2020