The Food & Beverage (F&B) industry is one of the largest industries in the world considering the amount of revenue and employment opportunities it generates. Any company that is involved in production (raw materials), processing, packaging or even transporting and distribution of edible goods is a part of the F&B industry. It includes all restaurants, cafes, hotels and companies involved in various stages of food production–from the source to its destination.
Sustainability in F&B
There has been a wave of information hitting the consumers in the past decade regarding the need to adopt sustainability when consuming products. The F&B industry has also been evolving with time, but it has a long way to go in terms of being fully committed to the environment.
The topic of sustainability is not just a matter of environmental concern but also about its economic and social impact in the long run. Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the quality of life of future generations.
The need to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly measures in the food and beverages industry has been specifically amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry has the highest ecological impact compared to any other industry. Many large companies have already started investing in developing better alternatives, which are aimed at creating a positive impact on the environment. Ingredients are now sourced ethically, and many key players in the industry are heavily investing in R&D to reduce the pollution caused by this industry.
Here are some of the reasons why F&B industry needs to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly measures:
- Consumer awareness: Consumers today are more aware of their right to know about the product details than ever. This generation is also morally more inclined towards building a more sustainable market. As consumers become aware of the implications of the products, it becomes inevitable for any industry to cater to the needs of its consumers. The food and beverages industry is, thus, obliged to include the demand for more eco-friendly and sustainable measures.
- Securing food for all: As per the data provided by various international agencies, demand for food will grow exponentially in the coming years. And as a part of the social system, it is the moral responsibility of the F&B industry to play its part in reducing, and eventually, eliminating world hunger.
- Combating food wastage: More than one-third of the total food produced in the world is wasted, which directly contributes to around 8% of the global emissions. The F&B industry is actively taking measures to eliminate its food waste footprint, but clearly, a lot more needs to be done, starting now.
- Packaged food and beverages: A major contribution to the landfills is the plastic waste produced by the food and beverage industry. Packaging is, thus, becoming one of the most important aspects of consumer preferences with more and more consumers demanding eco-friendly ways to pack products.
- Agricultural practices: The rise in demand for food and beverages meant that companies had to produce food more rapidly putting extra pressure on the ecosystem. The practice of regenerative agriculture not only aims to reduce the depleting quality of soil but also aims to reverse the adverse impact that agriculture has on climate change.
Climate change and global warming impact everyone. Adopting sustainable measures is the only way ahead for the F&B industry that puts a lot of pressure on the environment. Many small players are now consciously creating ethically sourced products with eco-friendly measures packaged in environmentally-friendly materials. These small industries are today leading the way for giant companies by creating a lasting positive impact while also maintaining an economically sound business.