Future Fit Food and Agriculture



The “Future Fit Food and Agriculture” report published in March 2024 delves into the challenges and solutions associated with transforming food and land use systems.

It states that these systems are currently failing to provide healthy, affordable food while significantly contributing to environmental degradation. They account for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, are primary drivers of ecosystem conversion and biodiversity loss, and are responsible for approximately 70% of global freshwater withdrawals.

The report emphasizes the crucial role of companies in the food and agriculture sector in driving the transformation needed to meet global climate and nature goals. As global demand for food is projected to increase significantly by 2050, it is essential to adopt sustainable practices to mitigate environmental impacts. Land-based mitigation strategies can contribute substantially to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

A critical part of this transformation involves engaging with various voluntary frameworks and regulations. These frameworks help companies develop, implement, and report on science-based climate and nature strategies. The report highlights the increasing importance of these frameworks for business leaders, particularly in sustainability, compliance, public affairs, risk, and strategy roles.

Key voluntary frameworks include:

  • Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): Established in 2015, TCFD provides a framework for disclosing climate-related risks and opportunities. Its recommendations are now incorporated into the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) standards.
  • Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG) Sector Guidance: Published in 2022, this guidance helps companies in the food and agriculture sector set science-based targets for greenhouse gas mitigation.
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol: Its draft ‘Land Sector and Removals Guidance’ provides standards for accounting and reporting emissions and removals in the land sector.
  • Science Based Targets Network (SBTN): Supports companies in setting and delivering nature targets, complementing the work of the SBTi for climate targets.
  • Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD): Provides guidelines for companies to disclose nature-related risks and impacts.

The report also underscores the importance of mandatory frameworks and regulations, such as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which requires all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their biodiversity-related risks, impacts, and dependencies by 2030. This aligns with the ‘Nature Positive’ goal, aiming to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.

Businesses that proactively engage with these voluntary frameworks are likely to find the transition to mandatory regulations smoother and less disruptive. Conversely, those that lag may face significant operational disruptions and penalties for non-compliance. The report calls on companies to assess their impacts and dependencies on climate and nature, set science-based targets, and transparently disclose their environmental impacts to meet regulatory requirements and contribute to global sustainability goals.

In summary, the “Future Fit Food and Agriculture” report provides a comprehensive overview of the current landscape of voluntary and mandatory frameworks. It offers guidance for food and agriculture companies to align their strategies with global sustainability targets, ensuring they are well-prepared for future regulatory requirements and can play a significant role in addressing the climate and nature crises.

The document “Future Fit Food and Agriculture” was authored by a team primarily led by Elizabeth Petykowski, Kitty Parker Brooks, Alexandre L’Heureux, Abel Hemmelder, Paul Limpens, Liz Kirk, and Talia Smith of the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU). Major contributions were also made by Christine Delivanis (Systemiq), Morgan Gillespy (FOLU), Kate Newbury-Hyde (WBCSD), and Luke Pritchard (We Mean Business Coalition). The authors acknowledged several other individuals and institutions for their comments and input on the report

Read the full report here:

Future Fit Food and Agriculture: Developments in voluntary frameworks and standards and their influence on legislation for businesses



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