Aligning markets with conservation-minded approaches to feeding a hungry planet.
Feeding humanity in 2050 — when the world’s population is expected to be between nine and 10 billion — will require a 70 percent increase in global food production. Historically, global food production has treated the degradation of natural ecosystems as an externality, under pressure to deliver product at the lowest unit cost and with little accounting for longer-term exposure related to habitat, biodiversity or other ecosystem impacts. Companies have had little incentive to pay attention to the natural resource business risks embedded in their supply chains, to set more stringent purchasing standards, or to invest in shifting the practices of producers in their supply chains.
But today, food companies are increasingly aware that their access to natural resources, and their social license to exploit them, may be constrained. They recognize that investing in innovation to adapt can yield a competitive advantage. And we believe systemic solutions can build on this momentum and, at the needed scale, play a meaningful role in conserving critical ecosystems.
Together with our grantees, we are engaging with the private sector in:
- Agriculture — improving soy and beef production in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and the Chaco in Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia, by shifting practices towards sustainable agricultural production of these globally traded commodities,
- Seafood — protecting marine and coastal ecosystems by safeguarding the health and abundance of wild-capture fish stocks and improving aquaculture practices,
- Finance — in collaboration with the Finance Hub, created to advance sustainable finance, ensuring that financial institutions, who provide capital to companies involved in beef, soy and seafood commodities, routinely scrutinize the business consequences of deforestation and overfishing and develop incentives for companies to eliminate risks associated with deforestation, illegality and overfishing in their supply chains.