Trends · 5min read

Food Industry Trend Watch: #5 Sustainability

Data points to sustainability as one of the keys to businesses' success in the future. Need we say more?

In this six-part series, we explore the biggest food industry trends of 2021.

In the words of ADM, a global leader in nutrition and partner to the world’s leading consumer brands, “sustainability has taken centre stage”. As a business, it is no longer sufficient to initiate a couple of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, wrap them up nicely in a press release, and call it a day. On the contrary, we are seeing more and more businesses incorporating sustainable practices into numerous, if not all, areas of their business—from their values and philosophy to their products and services. 

Altruism is by far, not the sole root cause. As The Food Industry Executive highlights, current data is showing that sustainability is becoming increasingly critical to businesses’ abilities to survive: reports, such as The Food Company 2050 recently published by Lux, claim that companies will need to make sustainability a key business focus if they hope to survive, let alone flourish, in the decades to come. Similar nuances echo amongst consumer groups, and a staggering 65% of consumers are now eager to have a minimal or positive impact on the environment with their wallets.

The term ‘sustainability’ generally refers to the capacity for humans to coexist with the planet in ways that minimise harm and continue living side-by-side in the long-term. Many policies, such as the United Nation’s adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development or the European Union’s new Farm-to-Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, however, are currently more focused on short-term to mid-term goals. These efforts hope to ensure the rapid mitigation of climate change. Although the bar is being set high for the upcoming decade, many food industry players, such as IFOAM Organics, still believe the targets are not high enough to propagate the necessary transformation.

Examples of sustainability initiatives in the food industry include:

  • Increasing focus on natural and regenerative farming and agricultural practices, such as biodynamics and organics, over harmful conventional techniques, such as pesticide use and propagation of monocultures

  • Widespread commitments to the reduction of CO2 emissions in all areas of operations, including energy, production and logistics

  • Development of eco-friendly and plant-based alternatives to conventional products that have proven negative environmental impacts and footprints

  • Replacing the use of synthetics, fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources with renewable or plant-based resources

  • Waste reduction measures and circular economy practice, such as recycling, upcycling and by-product use

So what sustainability measures does your company have in place? At foodcircle, we are excited to be an actor of change! Follow this link if you’re interested in reading up on our sustainability commitments and get in touch with our Sales Team if you would like to learn more about our sustainable products and practices.

Read more in Trend Watch #6: The Return of Ancient Grains & Legumes!

Imagery: (1) Guillaume de Germain and (2) Erwan Hesry via

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