Global Campaigning on Global Goals: North American Tea Conference

Last month, I had the opportunity to speak at the North American Tea Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Global Campaigning on Global Goals: At a time when tea is benefiting from social and health trends, it is timely to make sure your promise lives up to modern expectations. The Global Goals agreed by the United Nations, known at the Sustainable Development Goals, apply to all countries–developed and developing–and provide the basis for social license to operate. The Sustainable Development Goals are the key lines currently shaping the global development agenda. As such, they are responsible for both directing and informing internationally significant ongoing trends and perspectives with regards to socio-economic and ethical issues, the environment, and human health. They have been agreed upon by the United Nations, and apply to all countries, developed and developing alike. Aligning values and practices with the 2030 Agenda is therefore crucial for any business seeking to make a positive contribution to the well being of the planet, and the people who inhabit it. This is doubly important in sectors comprising world spanning networks of trade, information, and investment, such as the tea industry. The vast and internationally interconnected nature of their supply chains creates enormous potential for progressive policies to generate exceptional achievements in combating poverty and myriad forms of deprivation. 

There are many Goals that are particularly relevant to the tea sector, including:

  • Goal 1 “no poverty”. The tea community has an important role to play in ensuring that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources and access to basic services. They can do this by empowering youth and smallholder farmers, and ensuring that wages and working conditions for all of those implicated in their supply chains provide a standard of living above global poverty thresholds. 
  • Goal 2 “zero hunger”. In an increasingly hungry world, improving the sustainability of supply chains, investing in agronomics, and diverting surplus that would otherwise end up as food waste to food banks can make a big difference. 
  • Goal 5 “gender equality”. Tea companies must put in place gender inclusion programs, and guarantee that women in their supply chains benefit from security, social protection services, and the possibility of maternity leave. 
  • Goal 6 “clean water and sanitation”. Businesses must seek to make their water use as efficient as possible, and crack down on wastage.
  • Goal 8 “decent work and economic growth”. This will only be achievable through scaling-up sustainable supply chains, including processing and packaging activities, and ensuring that appropriate labor standards are enforced throughout.
  • Goal 12 “responsible production and consumption”. This will entail businesses cutting down on food loss and waste at every stage of their supply chains, and investigating the life cycle of the packaging they employ, to make them as environmentally sustainable as possible.
  • Goal 13 “climate action”. Mitigating the impacts of climate change is a moral imperative, meaning that tea industry leaders must explore practices such as carbon off-setting and climate-smart agriculture, to attempt to reduce as much as possible their greenhouse gas footprints.
  • Goal 14 “life below water”. In addition to efficiently managing trade-offs in water demand between agricultural and urban users, companies must also seek to minimize, and eventually eliminate their contributions to marine pollution
  • Goal 15 “life on land”. Around 1.6 billion people currently depend on forests for their livelihoods. More sustainable forestry practices must be a key component of tea industry operations going forward, given that the tea drying process can use as much as the output of one hectare of timber to dry the output of three hectares of tea, and that tea plantations are often located in or around biodiversity hotspots.
  • Goal 17 “partnerships for the goals”. Finally, active engagement with the Goals and those seeking to fulfill them will be vital to any business seeking to make a difference. This will require a pro-active approach to monitoring and reporting on relevant economic, social, and governance indicators related to their activities and supply chains.

Each of these goals presents wonderful opportunities for the tea industry to prove themselves leaders in ongoing global efforts to build a brighter and more sustainable future.

 

The 45th Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

This October 15-19, the 45th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will take place in Rome, Italy. This Plenary session is an opportunity for many stakeholders to gather for discussion, debate, and decision-making on the most pressing issues in food security today. The world’s largest and most diverse policymaking body on food security, CFS is open to all UN member states, the private sector, civil society, philanthropic organizations, and research groups. The annual weeklong Plenary session is free to attend and is filled with side events, Plenary discussions, poster presentations, networking opportunities, and bilateral meetings.

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Turning the Corner for our Food Future

The future of food continues to be one of the most pressing global challenges, with malnutrition profoundly affecting every country. Around 800 million people are still undernourished, billions of people face vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and problems of overweight and obesity are growing fast and fuelling an epidemic of diet-related non-communicable diseases. With such scale and complexity, countries are trying to figure out: where do we start? 

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Summary of Side Event Investing for Reshaping Food Systems

In  the  context  of  the  2018  United  Nations  High  Level  Political  Forum  (HLPF),  the  Permanent  Missions  of  Canada  and  Jamaica  to  the  United  Nations  and  the  International  Food  Policy  Research  Institute  (IFPRI)  hosted  a  side  event, Investing for Reshaping Food Systems,  to  bring  attention  to  the  importance  of  investing  in  reshaping  food  systems  to  deliver  the  Sustainable  Development  Goals  (SDGs)  and  achieve  broad-based  development. The  side  event  convened  on  11  July  2018  in  Conference  Room  9  and  advocated  key  policies  and  investments  to  reshape  food  systems  that  can  help  us  achieve  multiple  SDGs  by  2030  –  food  systems  that  are  efficient,  inclusive,  climate-smart,  sustainable,  nutrition-  and  health-driven,  and  business-friendly. 

Read the full summary for the side event "Investing for Reshaping Food Systems"

Learn more about IFPRI:

https://www.ifpri.org/

Robynne Anderson is awarded the 2018 Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence

Three exceptional women in agribusiness have been chosen to receive the 2018 WIA Demeter Award of Excellence. The award recognizes those who have achieved excellence in their field or demonstrated an extraordinary contribution to the agribusiness industry. 

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Balancing our Approach to Agriculture: The Global Livestock Advocacy for Development

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the Global Livestock Advocacy for Development (GLAD) project. GLAD is a two-year project working to raise interest in livestock-related research for development. 

GLAD distils and presents evidence on sustainable livestock and its development impacts. Since the project was launched in 2016, progress has been exciting. Recently, key livestock actors convened at several high level international events and engaged stakeholders in livestock advocacy communications. This engagement led to the inclusion of livestock in key global policy discussions relating to food security and sustainable development. 

This project has highlighted why we need to rebalance our approach to agriculture and value all its components from crops, to livestock, to horticulture, to agro-forestry, to fisheries.

Read "Enhancing global livestock advocacy for sustainable development" on the ILRI news site.

Learn more about GLAD: 

whylivestockmatter.org/   

www.ilri.org/  

 

Urgent action needed to reverse rise in hunger, warns FAO at HLPF

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) raised the alarm of increasing hunger in the world, at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York.

“Three years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, hunger is on the rise and urgent action is needed to ensure the trend is reversed. At the same time, obesity and other forms of malnutrition are a growing concern not only in developed but also in developing countries”, said Lucas Tavares, FAO Senior Liaison Officer, speaking at the General Debate.

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POGA Recipe Contest Winners Announced

During the month of May, Emerging worked with the Prairie Oat Growers Association of Canada to run the fourth annual oat recipe contest. This contest, which was open to all residents and citizens of Mexico, served multiple purposes: to celebrate the creativity of Mexican chefs, be they professional or amateur; to promote the incredible versatility of oats as an ingredient to include far beyond a bowl of morning oatmeal; and to raise awareness of the many health benefits of oats. 

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WhyLivestockMatter Website Launch

Livestock are critical for global development yet often overlooked. The world’s cows, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and other farm animals are the mainstay of livelihoods the world over. And the energy and nutrient-dense milk, meat, and eggs these animals produce provide hundreds of millions of families in the world’s poorer countries with essential food and nutrition.

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UNFCCC: A Roadmap for Agriculture and Climate Change

Farmers rely on the weather and the environment in its entirety for their production and livelihoods. Changes in the frequency and severity of major weather events, such as droughts and floods, are posing significant challenges for farmers and threaten food security, especially in developing countries. In addition, agricultural activities, such as crop and livestock production, are significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Globally agricultural emissions currently account for 12-14% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These are projected to increase by 20-30% by 2020, as estimates indicate we will need to increase food production by as much as 60-70% by 2050.

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