Is the food and drink sector doing all it can to ensure we have a sustainable and resilient food system?

10 November 2023

Emma Piercy, Head of Climate Change and Energy Policy writes in today’s Food Management Today magazine ahead of COP28 and outlines our future focus on sustainability.


With COP28 upon us, it is an important time to reflect on whether the food and drink sector is doing all it can to ensure that we have a sustainable and resilient food system. Without which, the consequences are all very clear - reduced productivity, empty supermarket shelves and much higher prices.

Although the sector is advancing in leaps and bounds to meet the challenge, the inclusion of a landmark Declaration on Food Systems, Agriculture, and Climate Action in Dubai for COP28 demonstrates there can and should be more that our industry can do. At COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, we began the journey to help food and drink manufacturers to reduce their footprint, by publishing a Net Zero Handbook.

Our focus next year will be to support businesses further to make impacts in some key areas, like forest risk commodities and water use, packaging for a circular economy, reducing food waste or investing in nature restoration. Addressing all our areas of focus requires farm-to-fork stakeholder engagement and cooperation alongside a supportive, stable and predictive regulatory policy framework.

We need to identify the solutions, partnerships and collaborations that we need to create, nurture and grow to deliver on our ambitions. Maintaining and building momentum is critical to achieving this and, I look forward to COP28 to build on the substantial progress already made – and all that is yet to come.

Read Emma’s column on page 41 of Food Management Today Magazine