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ERM joins the WBCSD and EAT Foundation to launch the ‘Food Reform for Sustainability and Health’ (FReSH) program

19 January 2017

ERM has joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the EAT Foundation with over twenty leading global companies to launch FReSH - the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health program. A platform for the private sector to accelerate transformational change in the global food systems, the program is being launched today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. FReSH’s ultimate goal is to reach healthy, enjoyable diets for all, produced responsibly within planetary boundaries.

After providing initial advice to the WBCSD’s and the EAT Foundation’s “conference of parties” for food, ERM will be contributing to the management and coordination of the FReSH’s efforts. To do that, ERM will leverage the robust expertise and insights about sustainability and food security acquired in advising clients on sustainability issues across the food industry value chain, including agrochemicals, consumer goods, manufacturing, agriculture and international trading houses. ERM has also seconded Principal Consultant and food security expert Tracey Draper for six months to the WBCSD project team with the mandate to help to develop the food sustainability and reporting framework within the wider project.

“Our involvement in FReSH is a unique opportunity to put our sustainability expertise at work for one of the biggest issues of our time – food systems’ sustainability – and to work together with globally leading companies in all segments of the agribusiness value chain” underlines Sabine Hoefnagel, Global Director, Strategy at ERM. “It is a fantastic way for us to continue to realize our purpose to shape a sustainable future with the world's leading organizations.”

Read today’s news release announcing FReSH’s launch and see who are the other members of the supporting business coalition

Keeping our food systems in balance
Issues such as climate change, water depletion and deforestation significantly affect our food systems. In parallel, food security and appropriate nutrition are not available to all, while over-consumption, food waste and food-related lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity are on the rise.

“What we eat and how we produce it drives some of our greatest health and environmental challenges. On the other hand, getting it right on food is our greatest opportunity to improve the health of people and planet. (This will require concerted action across disciplines and sectors – and business will be a key part of the solution)”
- Gunhild A. Stordalen, Founder and President, EAT Foundation.

The world’s population growth to 9.7 billion by 2050 will place an additional burden on our food systems.

“Clear science-based targets will help businesses create ambitious yet implementable solutions, which can then be brought forward to guide policy makers to provide the framework for local or global food systems transformation”
- Peter Bakker, President and CEO, WBCSD.

To achieve this ambitious goal, FReSH draws on knowledge and efforts from premier research institutions and works with the business community to adopt successful and impactful solutions across the three value chain stages – production, supply chain and consumption – and along the following five axes:

  1. Developing guidelines on healthy and sustainable diets, taking into account social and environmental considerations;
  2. Food production adjustment, including formulation and offering to help achieve healthy and sustainable diets; 
  3. Food consumption reorientation to strengthen demand for healthy and sustainable diets;
  4. Improvement of food sourcing and reduction of food loss and waste
  5. Measurement, reporting and communicating progress.

Food for thought
Megatrends that impact our world and ERM’s clients pose risks but also offer opportunities for businesses that are ready to take up the challenge. With that in mind, ERM is inviting its clients engaged in the wider food system to contact ERM to learn more about our experience and views on the issues affecting the sector or to get engaged in the program. You may contact Sabine Hoefnagel at Sabine.Hoefnagel@erm.com.

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Learn more about this initiative

To learn more about the initiative, please see the following resources: