Concerns around climate change and the advent of the pandemic have changed the stakes for F&B companies. Although it’s one of the industries that have avoided a large impact, due to their nature as essential for all markets around the globe, the concerns have put into place the need for sturdier and more reliable supply chains – leveraging the financial stability this industry has, in comparison to others hit more severely by recent global issues.

The Facets of Sustainability

While many think that “sustainability” has interpretations that solely relate to a company’s environmental footprint, that is not the case. In fact, many define sustainability to include issues such as waste reduction, cutting down on pollution, lowering energy and water consumption, and diversity in hiring – issues that impact not only the ecosystem, but society and community in general.

Driving Forces of Sustainability

There are several pressuring forces to the F&B industry, applying pressure so as to have a more steady and sustainable system. There is the consumer pressure – focusing on aspects such as organic and fair trade produce. There is investor pressure – an increasingly powerful voice for the facet of environmental sustainability, and other sides to the coin that focus on financial and climate concerns.

Active Efforts to Improve

Coffee Production
Food Industry – Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

To answer these concerns, many companies like the Jollibee Food Corporation have taken steps to help shore up the beach for the future. Such efforts, like increased regulations and governance, improved packaging with new and innovative technologies, transparent sourcing, and reduction in food waste are but a few stages that these companies have taken to ensure a more solidly built framework for the foreseeable future.

Challenges to Sustainability

A lot of ESG reporting companies are tasked with reporting the status of companies, ensuring long-term health and investment returns. However, despite the efforts made by these companies, experts report the progress to be slow – mostly due to large and complex supply chains, as well as the lack of actionable insights. The analytics to cover these supply and food chains require massive amounts of data, which is not easily gathered.