Research shows that consumers are becoming more conscious, increasingly preferring healthier, tastier and functional products that are produced responsibly and sustainably. This consumer change adds to a wider challenge to manufacturers to help support the development of a sustainable and healthy food system.
Dr Karen Cooper, who leads the Nestlé Research Sustainability team based in Switzerland, shared why we need a transformational change in our food system during her address at the 2019 SAAFoST Congress, taking place at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, Johannesburg from 1 – 4 September 2019.
“The challenge towards achieving a sustainable and health food system requires collective efforts. Global food production is the single largest driver of environmental degradation and transgression of planetary boundaries; which conversely, also makes it the best lever for transformational change. From how food is grown to how it is consumed or wasted, there are many areas where industry can act.”
She specifically highlighted the 2016 commitment that Nestlé made to tackle the food and nutrition security issues in rural communities from where we source ingredients; describing innovative solutions being piloted with farming families in Kenya, Mexico and the Philippines.
Nestlé’s purpose is to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future. We make impact for individuals and families by offering tastier, healthier choices and sharing nutrition knowledge. We also help develop thriving, resilient communities and act to safeguard the environment for future generations.
She concluded by challenging the wider industry to look into their supply chains, measure the problems and work together with their rural communities to develop interventions that fit the needs of the farming families they rely on. “Partnerships are key to move forward at a local level and broader collaborations across the industry can help tackle farmer family nutrition security issues at a system level.”