The report, produced with the Food Ethics Council, is entitled 'From individual to collective action: exploring the business case for addressing sustainable food security'. It looks at moving 'from individual to collective action' and concludes that sustainable food security delivers long-term business security.
It highlights the huge risks to business, people and planet if the food security challenge is not met head on - and the opportunities for businesses to join forces and work towards common goals.
Currently, 85% of global fisheries may be over their maximum capacity or over exploited, and 70% of all extracted water relates to food production. The world's population and inequality in calorific intake are only set to increase.
The report finds that the widespread perception of the food security challenge is still limited to 'needing more food', rather than including equally important aspects such as access to food and the environmental impacts of food from field to fork.
A limited knowledge amongst businesses of how to deal with the range of issues associated with production - growing demand, climate change, deforestation, water management, fossil fuel dependence, soil fertility and biodiversity loss - further increases the risks.
Sustainability must be at the core of food production and consumption if true food security is to be established, the report finds. Defining the meaning of genuine long-term food security within a food business and across the sector is a crucial first step.
Businesses need to accelerate their contribution to addressing sustainable food security, and the report identified some key steps businesses can take:
· Understand local food insecurity issues in a global context, looking at where you source from and sell to;
· Explore actions for the benefit of a wider society;
· Only consider commercial benefits alongside social benefits;
· Lobby for a step-change in the wider business environment to support food security goals.
The report concludes that businesses must collaborate to safeguard their own future - and that of the sector as a whole. It offers practical advice from businesses already working on sustainable food security, and tips on strengthening the business case.
Duncan Williamson, WWF-UK expert on sustainable food security, said It's heartening to see that more companies are grappling with the issues of sustainable food systems, but if we're all to reap the benefits, they need to act boldly, and quickly."
Dan Crossley, Executive Director of the Food Ethics Council added "In working on this report with WWF-UK, it became increasingly clear that some food businesses have a narrow understanding of food security. We'd urge them to join forces to tackle the issues head on, to safeguard their own futures, and at the same time the long-term wellbeing of their customers, workforce, producer communities and the planet."
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For further information and a copy of the report, please contact:
Rebecca Pain, firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 (0)1483 412303 | M: +44 (0)7974 212544
Notes to Editors.
WWF is one of the world's largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present at www.wwf.org.uk
The Food Ethics Council worked with WWF-UK on the report. Its mission is to build fair and resilient food systems that respect people, animals and the planet, by working with food businesses, government and civil society to address ethical concerns at the heart of decision-making about food and farming. Its particular contribution is to promote ethical considerations in relation to decisions about food and farming and to facilitate deliberative thinking and bold action for a fair food system. Find out more at www.foodethicscouncil.org