Supply chain session launches efforts towards new Sustainability Matrix for private companies in food systems
- Key focus: India is one of the largest producer, exporter and importer of agri and forest-based products. The CREST action coalition will therefore enable India to lead efforts in introducing sustainability in all elements of sourcing, trade and final consumption of the produced food at the global and national level.
- The new Sustainability Matrix, which will be further strengthened based on the session insights, will serve as a guiding tool or a point of reference for businesses of all sizes to help align their pathways to better evaluate the sustainability impact of their operations in food and forestry-linked value chains.
- This is the first time that Indian private entities came together on a national platform for an action-based pathway in relation to food systems and responsible sourcing and trade of agri and forest products. These entities are signatories of the FACT Dialogue at COP 26.
- A timely initiative given the focus of COP27 on food to promote pathways to balance land use with agri and forest-based commodities in order to manage deforestation globally, while ensuring food safety.
- CREST will integrate interests of small-holding farmers and forest-dependent communities to address social justice.
- Traceability and transparency will be key elements of a sustainable global and domestic value chain, which will assist decision makers in engaging effectively with the process.
New Delhi, 4th November, 2022: Food and Land Use Coalition India brought together for the time key stakeholders from the private sector at a national level to formulate the first-of-its-kind Sustainability Matrix at the ‘Sustainable Supply Chains in Forest and Agri-linked Commodities’ session. It holds special significance as key representatives of India Inc. participated and shared their experiences of sustainability-based investments under the broader ambit of food systems. The discussions took place on the heels of COP 27 starting on 6 November, which places unprecedented focus on food systems and nutrition.
The session was held as part of the India and Sustainability Standards Conference of Centre for Responsible Business, with co-host Coalition for Responsible Sourcing & Trade of Commodities (FOLU India CREST). The CREST action coalition was launched last year by FOLU with four partner organisations, viz. Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), IDH, WWF India, and World Resource Institute India (WRI India). The objective is to strengthen India’s position as a steward of responsible sourcing and trade – across agriculture and forestry linked value chains associated with deforestation in international cooperation forums. It also intends to support policymakers in promoting sustainability in global value chains through improved understanding of the linkages between conservation and trade linkages.
Morgan Gillespy, Global Director, Food and Land Use Coalition shared in her keynote address: FOLU CREST action coalition launched last year clearly demonstrates that it is possible to mobilise the private sector to mainstream sustainable trade practices. We need the Indian private sector to serve as a proof point for the national government that it is possible to balance business and environment objectives. This can lead to meaningful action during India’s G20 presidency next year.”
FOLU India Country Coordinator, Dr. Jayahari KM, remarked, “Planetary demands cannot be ignored for long. Everyone knows it and wants to address it – private sector, governments and civil society. However, the progress is slow. FOLU is working in the intersection of this common interest in India which happens to be one of the largest producer and consumer nation.
Dr. Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, UNIDO highlighted in his special remarks, “As an international technical operation agency we work along the whole value chain. The issue with mandatory regulations is that – bigger companies that are already compliant tend to benefit from this, while smaller entities tend to lose out. Further, with respect to regulations and standards for production and supply chains countries also face the dichotomy of managing the global agenda and national priorities.”
Senior industry representatives from Golden Agri-Resources, Olam and Louis Dreyfus Company were present at the session. Notably, these comprise the private entities that had committed at the Forest Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue at COP26.
- Ian Suwarganda, Head of Policy and Partnerships, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR)
- Vipin Gupta, CEO India, Louis Dreyfus Company
- Malavika Gopinath, Sustainability & Research Lead for Rice, Grains & Pulses at Olam Agri India
- Dr. Nitya Nanda, Director, Council for Social Development
Through experience-sharing the session explored pathways to ensure sustainability in business models of companies in relation to their sourcing and procurement activities, which entail both planetary and business benefits. The discussions focussed on the best practices and the challenges in integrating these practices in the value chains of forest and agri-linked commodities as sustainability interventions - within and beyond the reporting requirements.
The new Sustainability Matrix that will be further strengthened based on the session insights will serve as a guiding tool or a point of reference for businesses of all sizes to help align their pathways to better evaluate the sustainability impact of their operations in food and forestry-linked value chains. The framework comprises criteria that are further categorized into key indicators and sub-indicators, with the objective of mainstreaming sustainable sourcing and trade practices in the Indian private sector.
About Food and Land Use Coalition
Established in 2017, the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) is a community of organisations and individuals committed to the urgent need to transform the ways we produce and consume food and use our land for people, nature and climate. We support science-based solutions and help build a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities to unlock collective, ambitious action.
The FOLU Coalition in India includes the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture Network (RRAN), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and World Resources Institute India (WRI India), and with a detailed integrated country modelling effort, led by the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) with support from International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-arid and Tropics (ICRISAT). Know more about FOLU here.
For more details, please contact:
Jayahari KM, PhD, FOLU India Country Coordinator
Ph: +91 9971799271, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pallavi Singh, Communication Manager – FOLU India
Ph: +91 9999154259, email@example.com