The term sustainability has been tarnished by too many broad applications of it, according to a recent white paper by Promar International, the agri and food value-chain consultancy firm.
“It is now as much connected to short term cashflow or macrofinancial impacts, as it is to the original three pillars of sustainable development – social, environmental and economic,” reads the paper.
The agriculture and food supply chains are under particular pressure to act sustainably due to their high level of land and water usage compared to other sectors. And in turn the industry is exposed to the threats of extreme weather, oil price fluctuations, increasing population and so on, argues Promar.
“We now know that agriculture must balance conflicting objectives of producing more food without compromising available, finite natural resources. The sustainable management of natural resources and the environment is fundamental at every component of the supply chain – pre- and post-farm gate,” reads the paper.