Cargill and Olam backing in FReSH momentum to address food challenges

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Through jointly created business solutions, the initiative hopes create "new pathways to reach healthy, enjoyable diets for all, produced responsibly within planetary boundaries." ©iStock
Through jointly created business solutions, the initiative hopes create "new pathways to reach healthy, enjoyable diets for all, produced responsibly within planetary boundaries." ©iStock
The ‘Food Reform for Sustainability and Health’ program is to welcome 10 new members to its ranks as industry support gathers momentum in achieving sustainable change in global food systems.

The new members, which include Cargill and agri-business Olam, have signed up to an action agenda that the private sector can realistically adopt to establish healthy and sustainable food systems.

The agenda includes measures such as 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.

Other measures require members to reassess food consumption to strengthen demand for healthy and sustainable diets as well as improve food sourcing and reduction of food loss and waste.

The program, also known as ‘FReSH’ is the brainchild of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

'Radical transformation needed'

Its president and CEO, Peter Bakker used the EAT Stockholm Food Forum to welcome its newest members, which also include Deloitte, Edelman, KDD, Sealed Air, Sonae and Symrise.

FReSH now boasts 35 members drawn from a diverse pool of food, nutrition, science and technology organisations spanning Europe, North America and South East Asia.

Founding members range from tech giants Google to DSM, Unilever and Nestlé.

“Our food systems require radical transformation,”​ Bakker said.

“FReSH is unique in the way it brings together leading global companies to build a portfolio of science- based, scalable business solutions for healthy food, healthy people and a healthy planet.”

In addition to these calls to action, FReSH will support the development of a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) sector roadmap as defined and developed by the United Nations.

FReSH's brief also extends to a holistic outlook on food systems that seek to target systemic interventions that can shift the food system from fork to farm.

The creation of FReSH

FReSH’s origins can bet traced back to an EAT and WBCSD collaboration around this time last year.

Here, the two organisations spoke of a “conference of parties” for food, in order to accelerate the transformation towards a healthy and sustainable global food system.

The partnership was formally launched at the EAT Stockholm Food Forum on 14 June 2016.

“I am thrilled to see more companies taking on the massive food system challenges, turning them into exciting business opportunities”​ said Gunhild Stordalen, founder and president of the EAT Foundation.

“We need disruptive innovation – also in the ways we collaborate. The FReSH programme is a great example of how business work together to translate science-based targets into win-win solutions, for people, planet and profit.“

Alison Cairns, managing director of FReSH also extended a welcome to the new members adding that she was “looking forward to our members actively shaping business solutions that can contribute to more sustainable global food systems.”​ 

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