Agri-food consultancy Promar International, a Genus business, claims that 80% of the food and drink supply chain is not yet committed to sustainable production. Therefore, it has launched a whitepaper calling for radical change.

The whitepaper notes that agricultural outputs will need to increase by 20% every decade for the next 40 years to meet rising demand, but warns the industry is not yet in a position to achieve this sustainably. It points out that 23% of carbon emissions are derived from the agri-food sector alone.  

The whitepaper uses a case study from McDonalds UK to highlight how the supply chain is investing in change, and also to show what improvements are possible. McDonalds UK invested in its beef supply chain to successfully reduce on-farm emissions by 23%, demonstrating that sustainable food and drink production can be part of a successful business model.  

Tom Gill, head of environment at Promar International, suggests that it is vital to prioritise a “total supply chain approach” to continue to produce affordable and nutritious goods in a responsible, secure, resilient and sustainable way. He says: “The increased pressure to produce more food and drink affects everyone in the supply chain, from farmers through to retailers. Consumer attitudes are changing, and it has been reported that around 70% of consumers feel that large companies aren’t doing enough to improve sustainability.

“Change in the food supply chain is primarily driven by the customer, and the sustainability agenda should be no different.”

Promar launched the whitepaper, which included contributions from the Carbon Trust, at edie Live at the NEC in Birmingham. The 8 page document is now available online at Promar-International.com.