Rising population, global warming, deforestation and inequalities are some of the challenges that the planet and society is currently facing. As a responsible business we need to seize the opportunity to play our part in creating a regenerative food system – something that is more than sustainable but actually has a positive impact.
The world is facing a variety of severe challenges to its food system. Fires, floods, wars, climate change, loss of biodiversity, combined with increasing levels of both under- and overnutrition in a growing population means that something has to change.
The food system is uniquely vulnerable to climate change – it’s where the impact is most keenly felt. There’s a dawning realisation around issues of food security and hunger set against uncomfortable levels of food waste around the world. The way people feel about food is changing too. People understand that what they put on their plate is impacting global ecosystems and want to do better by the planet and for the livelihoods of people who produce their food.
Creating food systems that work for everyone
In September 2021, Nestlé announced plans to support and accelerate the transition to a regenerative food system – one that aims to:
- protect and restore the environment
- improve the livelihoods of farmers
- enhance the well-being of farming communities
In the UK, this collective work to create the food system of the future could not be more relevant or important. As the UK reshapes its food system outside the European Union, and in the wake of the Covid pandemic together with supply issues resulting from war, the UK Government has published a National Food Strategy for the years ahead.
By sharing our food system expertise, and collaborating with our stakeholders, we hope to contribute solutions to future food strategy in the UK and around the world.
Creating a regenerative food system
Nestlé’s aim is to co-create a sustainable and resilient food system for the future. That's why we have pledged to advance regenerative food systems at scale. We want to achieve more than just sustainability. We want a food system that offers a positive benefit – that isn’t about just maintaining the status quo.
We want to be part of the solution that mitigates how climate change and environmental threats, such as the degradation of forests, land, soil and waterways, are impacting farmers and communities. These threats are putting farmer livelihoods at risk and jeopardising the accessibility and availability of quality food. We must help protect and restore nature’s resources – and this requires a transformative change.
We are embarking on a journey toward regeneration; to help protect, renew and restore the environment, improve the livelihoods of farmers, and enhance the resilience and well-being of our communities and our consumers. Regenerative agriculture is our first step, but we are committed to go further to help create a regenerative food system.
We believe that collaboration between the food industry and food system policy makers, civil society organisations and academia, can unlock new and transformative solutions.
Three ways forward
Nestlé is using three combined approaches to work towards a regenerative food system
- Transformation – knowing what the end goal needs to be and working out the best way to change systems to get there
- Collaboration – co-creating and working with others to find the best solutions possible
- Regeneration – making sure that we do more than just aim for sustainability but have a net-positive impact with what we do on the environment, farmers and suppliers and society as a whole