For companies in the food and beverage industry, sustainability is often associated with farming or the environment. The reality is that it is impacted throughout the entire food supply chain. Food processing, or transforming agriculture into edible food, exists to meet the goal of feeding the world—a primary driver for sustainability initiatives.
This goal, however, is complicated due to a growing world population and scarcity of resources. According to the World Bank, “Global population was around 3 billion in 1960. By 1987, in less than three decades, it had surpassed 5 billion and there were around 7.6 billion people in the world in 2018.” At the same time, 60 to 70% of the world’s ecosystem is degrading more rapidly than it can recover.
Because of this, the food processing industry itself has made attempts to create awareness around issues or enact policies to protect the environment. On the farm, crop rotation is being used to combat the effects of soil erosion, while ongoing research is being conducted to reduce methane gas emission from cow farts and burps. In the manufacturing process, companies boast about their attempts to lessen energy consumption and reduce waste, especially in factories. At the same time, legislature is being passed to deter plastic bag usage at the store, while agency programs are encouraging consumers and restaurants to make use of “ugly produce” to avoid food waste.
Without doubt, the sustainability and eco-friendly movement has gone from niche to mainstream. More so, food and beverage enterprises no longer treat sustainability as a “feel good” fad, but a fundamental necessity for long-term viability and improved profitability.
A sustainable food supply depends upon a sound supply chain. However, creating end-to-end supply chain transparency across the food supply chain is a major task. Trying to get there in one giant leap might be biting off more than you can chew. By leveraging the accelerated, analytical, and flexible functionality of cloud solutions, food and beverage companies can move sustainability efforts forward throughout the entire supply chain. Using end-to-end capabilities, cloud technology can provide the speed, scalability, global reach, and agility required to ensure greater food for people and the planet while optimizing profitability for the organization.
To learn more about this topic and gain some practical information about steps your organization can take to achieve a transparent supply chain, read our best practices guide: “Improving supply chain transparency in modern food and beverage manufacturing.”
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