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Dairy companies among FReSH sustainability project founders

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By Jim Cornall+


Several dairy-related companies are among those committing to accelerate change in sustainable food systems through the FReSH program.
Several dairy-related companies are among those committing to accelerate change in sustainable food systems through the FReSH program.

At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, 25 global companies announced their collaborative commitment to accelerating transformational change in global food systems.

Among the group are several dairy companies, as well as those related to the dairy industry.

The FReSH (Food Reform for Sustainability and Health) program – under the leadership of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the EAT Foundation (EAT) – is designed to accelerate transformational change in global food systems, to reach healthy, enjoyable diets for all, that are produced responsibly.

The 25 FReSH companies:

The Boston Consulting Group
C.P. Group (Charoen Pokphand)
ERM (Environmental Resources Management)
Sigma Alimentos

Although 25 companies have been involved in the launch of the group, it is not closed to others to join and contribute.

The goal is for FReSH to bring business and science together. It intends to draw on knowledge and efforts from research institutions, and work with the business community to develop successful, high-impact solutions.

Why FReSH?

Almost 100% of the food consumed across the world is produced and supplied by the private sector. This puts large and small businesses at the heart of the potential for transformational change in food systems all over the world.

FReSH is a platform for the private sector to achieve this transformation in a safe and pre-competitive space. In cooperation with science, academia, policy-makers and civil society, FReSH will catalyze change across the food systems, taking into account local eating patterns, by focusing on the following areas:

  • Developing guidelines on healthy and sustainable diets taking into account social and environmental considerations;
  • Food production adjustment, including formulation and offering to help achieve healthy and sustainable diets;
  • Food consumption reorientation to strengthen demand for healthy and sustainable diets;
  • Improvement of food sourcing and reduction of food loss and waste;
  • Measurement, reporting and communicating progress.

FReSH draws on the findings of the EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets, where a multi-disciplinary group of scientists are synthesizing existing evidence to establish targets for healthy and sustainable food systems.

The World Economic Forum has launched a scenario report on the future of global food systems. This report identifies two critical uncertainties for the future of food systems – demand shift and market connectivity – and explores four potential scenarios they could create.

The Business & Sustainable Development Commission has called for business leaders to take up food systems challenges. Meeting these challenges sustainably could unlock business opportunities worth US$2.3tn annually by 2030, generating almost 80m jobs.

The FReSH program will support the development of a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) sector roadmap.

Arla Foods

As a member of the EAT Foundation (EAT), Arla is already participating in work that links food, health and sustainability across science, business, civil society and policy.

”It is natural for Arla to contribute based on our experience with sustainable dairy production practices and knowledge of the high nutritional value of dairy products,” Kristian Østerling Eriknauer, vice president of CSR within Arla, said.

“We believe that our commitment to long-term responsibility and sustainability is only achievable in cooperation with others.”

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