Sustainable food and farming ‘can unlock £2.3tn a year’

The food and agricultural industry could see opportunities worth $2.3 trillion (£1.88tn) each year by 2030 if they become more sustainable. Businesses would need to annually invest around $320 billion (£261bn) aligned […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The food and agricultural industry could see opportunities worth $2.3 trillion (£1.88tn) each year by 2030 if they become more sustainable.

Businesses would need to annually invest around $320 billion (£261bn) aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to see a seven-fold return, according to a new report from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC).

The UN’s SDGs are a set of targets aiming to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure global prosperity.

The report states there are 14 main food-related opportunities, including improving forest ecosystems, upgrading farm technology and pushing for dietary changes, which could generate almost 80 million jobs by 2030.

It is forecast these new jobs will make up around 2% of the global labour force.

The report suggests around $405 billion (£330.54) per year could be raised by reducing food waste across the production process alone, making this the most valuable of the opportunities.

More than two-thirds of the financial value and 90% of the potential jobs would be located in developing countries.

This includes around 21 million jobs in Africa, 22 million in India, 12 million in China and 15 million in the rest of Asia’s developing nations.

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Chair of the BSDC, said: “This report makes clear both the social and economic incentives for companies to seize upon the SDGs as compelling growth opportunities. It is part of our larger argument for why the private sector must accelerate new business models that open truly sustainable and inclusive markets.”

Sustainability and investment decisions following Brexit will form part of the discussions at the Energy Live 2016 conference on November 3rd in London. Limited free tickets available for energy end users and university students.