New whitepaper challenges sustainability in the agri-food sector

A whitepaper launched today by Promar International is calling for radical change, as it reports that 80 percent of the food and drink supply chain is yet to commit to sustainable production.

According to the whitepaper, agricultural outputs will need to increase by 20 percent every decade for the next 40 years to meet demand. And currently, the industry is not in a position to achieve this sustainably, with 23 percent of carbon emissions being derived from the sector alone.

Tom Gill, head of environment at Promar International, explains why 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.

“The increased pressure to produce more food and drink affects everyone in the supply chain, from farmers through to retailers,” he explains.

“Consumer attitudes are changing, and it has been reported that around 70 percent 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.”

The whitepaper, which was contributed to by the Carbon Trust, uses a case study from McDonald’s UK to highlight where the supply chain is investing in change and to demonstrate the improvement in efficiencies that can be achieved. Through direct investment in their beef supply chain, McDonald’s UK has reduced on-farm emissions by 23%. Proving that sustainable food and drink production can form part of a profitable and successful business model.

The whitepaper was launched at edie Live at the NEC in Birmingham on 23 May 2017, and is now available to download online at


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.