Challenges in the food world: Barilla's sustainability path
7 May 2019
HOW THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FOOD AND SUSTAINABILITY IS STRUCTURED AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME
Today, we are forced to ask ourselves about the future of our planet: how sustainable our impact is and for how much longer.
Whatever way you look at it, the latest data speak for themselves: according to Eurispes, a third of the food produced worldwide is wasted before it even reaches the table. And the food that ends up in the trash would be sufficient to feed 200 million hungry people. In Italy alone, the food waste figure has reached over 15 billion euro, almost 1% of the GDP (0.88%) - 2019 data of Waste Watcher Observatory.
If, on one hand, there are people who are still producing excessive waste, on the other there are others who are continuing to go hungry: as we are told by the FAO, even now, in this day and age, 821 million people are suffering from hunger and over 150 million children are experiencing stunted growth due to malnutrition. The annual report by the United Nations also finds that the variability of the climate, which impacts the trends of the rains and the agricultural seasons, as well as extreme climatic conditions such as drought and floods, are some of the key factors behind the rise in hunger, in addition to the ongoing conflicts and economic crises. In some cases, malnutrition does not mean hunger but, on the contrary, obesity: 14% of the global population is obese and it is estimated that in 2045 this will increase to reach one person in four.
Here, the key factors obviously include the approach to agriculture, to how we produce and then distribute food: agriculture alone is responsible for 30% of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by man and for 70% of the use of water resources. Therefore, stimulating plant and animal diversity, guaranteeing access to the land and the latest technologies and sustaining a kind of development that is not intensive means preserving the land and encouraging a method of consumption that is responsible and so sustainable for everyone.
WHAT WE MEAN BY SUSTAINABLE NUTRITION AND AGRICULTURE
Good agriculture can only be sustainable, and the same goes for diet too. We therefore need to promote a model in which science and technology join forces with innovation, while respecting nature and the human race, guaranteeing food that is healthy and of good quality.
A diet can be deemed sustainable if it has a small environmental impact: this is the belief of the FAO, which also adds that sustainable “diets” also respect biodiversity and the ecosystems, as well as being accessible and economically fair and affordable; safe and healthy, for humankind and for the planet.
GOOD FOR YOU, GOOD FOR THE PLANET: THE DAILY COMMITMENT OF THE BARILLA GROUP
In this context, Barilla wants to make its own contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda.
Over the years we have developed a mission that guides us in our daily choices, “Good for You, Good for the Planet”. This is the direction we are working towards to ensure that all products and brands offer the world food that is good, healthy and sourced from responsible chains, inspired by the Italian lifestyle and the Mediterranean Diet. This is the element that distinguishes the Barilla Group and represents its quality.
A commitment that we pursue from field to fork, focusing on all the phases of the chain.
Each year, Barilla has succeeded in increasing its share of responsible purchases of raw materials, in line with the principles defined in the Barilla Sustainable Agriculture Code.
THE BARILLA GROUP: ALWAYS LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE
“The results we have achieved over the years, however, are not ends in themselves. They are simply figures that tell us whether or not we are heading in the right direction. They are the compass we look at along the way, to help us make more responsible investments, in line with our commitment to making a significant contribution to people and planet wellbeing.” explain Guido, Luca and Paolo Barilla in the 2018 Sustainability Report.
This also means assigning ourselves a new cultural leadership and this is the spirit that guides the group, in pursuit of increasingly sustainable challenges: “Major brands have a duty to promote a line of thought that guides the needs, habits and lives of everyone. Our future prompts us to improve what we do, all the time, because only we know our business and only we know how to develop our skills in step with what we discern in the outside world. We need to understand how the world of nutrition is evolving, because it is full of information, not to mention the joy of eating. That is why, by doing our job to the highest standards, we bring joyful and wholesome food to everyone. We really do feel indebted in this respect to the company and everyone who puts their trust in us. And we have the means to achieve this goal: our history, our know-how and the willingness to invest.” conclude the Chairman and Vice Chairmen of the Group.
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