During a webinar hosted by the Sustainable Food Trade Association, Eleanor Fort, senior associate for the Policy Program at Ceres outlined climate change issues and the need for advancement in the food and beverage manufacturing industry.
Fort’s organization is a nonprofit focused on mobilizing businesses to build sustainable economies.
According to Fort, creating green business procedures can be expensive, making these overhauls difficult to sell for food and beverage companies that already function with restrictive margins. However, reforming standards to establish environmentally-friendly production practices can help businesses save more money over time.
“When we are talking about climate change, we are talking about increased risks that trickle down and percolate through a lot of different predictable patterns,” Fort explained.
For instance, emissions in the long-term can put stress on livestock and reduce grain yields, which impact commodity prices that food and beverage companies pay, Fort says.
To help prevent the effects of climate change, Fort suggested that companies adopt the ADAPT tool created by Oxfam International and used by several large corporations, including Starbucks. The five-step process serves as a best practice assessment that can be customized based on companies’ resources.
Through a series of analytics and strategies, manufacturers can identify opportunities to reduce climate change. Over time, with training and implementation, the food and beverage business could emerge as a leader in emissions reductions and lead the charge for other industries.