The global food system is at a critical moment requiring transformation to overcome significant challenges. Current food systems are not fit for purpose and we have to question everything we know about food. Agricultural practices require changing and the consumption patterns of the global population need to be altered.
Agriculture is one of the main causes of the climate crisis. We are caught in a cycle of producing cheap food, where low costs drive higher demand for food, produce more waste, while clearing more land and using large volumes of fertilisers and pesticides. But crucially, at the same time, agriculture is also one of the core answers to the crisis. Food security and Sustainable Agriculture is thus a critical ESG investment consideration in the context of solving these challenges.
There are three fundamental challenges to the existing food system:
•Firstly, climate change is threatening food systems – and conversely, food systems are causing climate change, in the form of increasing droughts, floods, shifts in the extent and severity of pest and disease outbreak, reduced predictability of seasons and plant and animal heat stress. Meanwhile, agriculture is responsible for 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and this is only predicted to increase by 15-20% by 2050. Meat and dairy account for 14.5% of all global GHG emissions while agriculture uses one third of all land – creating a vicious circle of cause and effect.
•The second challenge is the immense increase in the demand for food. As the global population is set to reach almost 10 billion by 2050, the world will need 50% more food. The world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 but rather the opposite. 1 in 10 people globally are exposed to severe levels of food insecurity, and if trends continue, the number of people affected by hunger would surpass 840 million by2030.
• Lastly, the dichotomy between food insecurity and food wastage is a significant problem. One third of all food is wasted before it is even consumed, whilst millions go hungry.
Full report attached
The tragic human rights situation currently unfolding in Myanmar holds particular significance to our Sustainability Analyst Georgina. Please read Georgie’s poignant thoughts on her visit to the camp, our expectations on our portfolio companies in regard to Myanmar, and why Ethical Partners has recently signed on to the Investor Statement on Human Rights and Business Activities in Myanmar.
As members of the Investor Group on Climate Change, Ethical Partners Funds Management strongly endorses its new roadmap released today in conjunction with the CDP and the Principles for Responsible Investment. It is entitled: "Confusion to clarity: A plan for mandatory TCFD-aligned disclosure in Australia".
During May 2021 the Fund returned 1.56% versus the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index of 2.31%, underperforming the market by -0.75%. An underweight position in IT and an overweight position in Westpac contributed to relative performance while an overweight position in Consumer Staples and an underweight position in CBA detracted from relative performance.