The pursuit of sustainability in global food systems – global issues


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Margarita Lysenkova. credit: GR
  • Opinion by Margarita Lysenkova (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Interpress service

The summit aims to harness the power of food systems to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, unleashing the corporate contribution to food production sectors would be impossible without clarifying its implications for sustainable development. Part of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Private Sector Programme, which aims to deliver 40 industry standards over the coming years, a draft version of a presentation Sectoral specifications for agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries Currently out for public comment. The Sector Program It has a mandate to deliver global best practices for transparency within sectors, helping organizations meet stakeholder expectations for comprehensive and comparable sustainability reporting. We prioritize agriculture, aquaculture and fishing because these sectors provide basic and basic societal needs: food, obviously, but also raw materials, such as fiber and fuel. They also have a common and overlapping physical significance, which has guided our reasoning to place them under one umbrella. The standard will add to the reporting landscape for sectors, bridging the gap in sector topics as stakeholder expectations evolve and scrutiny increases. It will present disclosures that consider biodiversity and natural resources, measures to mitigate climate change, as well as how to adapt farming and fishing practices in ways that minimize their negative impacts. This focus closely aligns with the objectives top of diet, which begins pre-summit activity in July. The United Nations sets goals as ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all; shift to sustainable consumption patterns; promoting the positive production of nature; promoting equitable livelihoods; Building resilience in the face of weaknesses, shocks and stress.

Reflecting diverse backgrounds, it includes representatives from five continents and constituencies, with a unique blend of sectoral skills and organizational experience, including crop and animal production, aquaculture and fishing. The proposed sector standard will help companies increase recognition and understanding of their common sustainability challenges. It includes relevant reporting topics covered by the subject-specific GRI (Sector Neutral) Standards – eg, climate adaptation, biodiversity, waste, food safety, and occupational health – as well as introducing seven new topics. By including topics not covered by current GRI standards, we have expanded our reporting guidelines for agriculture, aquaculture and fishing organizations to identify their most important impacts – thus supporting data that is useful in decision making that can act as a catalyst for the adoption of more sustainable practices.

The Seven New Themes

The topics newly introduced in the draft standard are:

    1. food security Recognizes the central role of sectors in food production, and directs organizations to describe obligations to ensure that their operations contribute to stable food supply and access to food, including how they work with other organizations. 2. Land and resource rights Calls on companies to report on how they respect the land rights of individuals and communities (including the rights of indigenous peoples). It also asks about their operations and suppliers whose access or rights to natural resources cannot be guaranteed. 3. living income It deals with whether firms provide enough for the workers and producers who supply them to sustain an adequate standard of living. The topic also deals with reporting on the percentage of employees who earn a salary higher than a living wage. 4. Transforming the natural ecosystem Covers policies, obligations, and monitoring tools to reduce or eliminate activities that change natural ecosystems to another use or profoundly alter the structure or function of an ecosystem. 5. soil health Direct reports on soil management plans and fertilizer use. 6. Use of pesticides Focuses on how organizations manage and use chemical or biological substances to control pests or regulate plant growth. 7. Animal health and care It addresses the approach to animal health planning and use of care certification plans or audits, as well as disclosure of the use of any medicinal or hormonal treatments.

Rooted in the Sustainable Development Goals

With the positive and negative impacts associated with the SDGs, all the topics covered in this sectoral standard, and the way they are structured, will make it easier for companies to understand their contribution to achieving the SDGs – and how they can contribute towards solutions. Perhaps more than any other sector, agriculture, aquaculture and fishing organizations have wide-ranging impacts that touch on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, this new standard establishes multiple links between topics and goals related to ending poverty (Goal 1); Zero Hunger (Goal 2); Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation (Goal 6); Promote decent work for all (Goal 8); reduce inequalities (Goal 10); Ensuring sustainable consumption and production (Goal 12); take climate action (Goal 13); protect life underwater (SDG 14) and life on land (SDG 15); ensuring peace and justice (Goal 16); and building partnerships (Goal 17).

We need your input

The global public comment period for collecting comments on the exposure draft of the Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fishing Sector Standard ends on 30 July. We encourage you to direct your considerations about the feasibility, completeness and suitability of this draft through من Complete an online survey. The more input from all interested groups and stakeholders, the more we can do to ensure we deliver a fit-for-purpose standard. Our hope for the final standard, which we intend to launch in 2022, is to enable organizations to achieve targeted and consistent sustainability reporting that supports sustainable food systems and encourages responsible fishing and farming practices.

We all know that companies in these sectors are essential to providing the food and resources on which human well-being depends. Let’s make sure they can do this in a way that contributes to durable and sustainable solutions.

Margarita Lysenkova joined the GRI Standards division in 2019 and was instrumental in the development of the new sector programme, contributing to the GRI standard for the oil and gas sector and leading the sector standard pilot project for agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries. With a professional background in the corporate, UN and non-profit sectors in four countries, Margarita’s experience spans international labor standards and sustainability. Previous roles include working for the International Labor Organization in Geneva, and on financial reporting with a Belgian multinational company. Margarita holds degrees in Economics (Saint Petersburg University of Economics and Finance) and Business Administration (ESC Rennes School of Business).
ABOUT GRGlobal Reporting Initiative is an independent international organization that helps companies and other organizations take responsibility for their impacts, by providing the global common language for reporting those impacts – GR Standards

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© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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