Investing in the sustainable food sector
The aim of sustainable food is to satisfy a basic human need over the long term. The concept covers both production and distribution chains respecting the environment, consumer health and cultural diversity.
A sufficient quantity of healthy food
Feeding a world population of 9 billion in 2050 with sufficient hygiene conditions, with quality food, without polluting the planet, is a major challenge. Huge amounts of capital are needed to do so, and this type of investment gives real meaning to our savings. The companies that operate in what is known as the food value chain can choose to adopt a responsible approach to their activity. For example, they can implement operating methods that limit greenhouse gas emissions, reduce pollution, promote recycling and minimise food wastage. In this respect, it should be highlighted that one third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted; the economic cost alone of this wastage amounts to USD 2,600 billion each year. Also, 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2, which corresponds to 7% of total greenhouse gas emissions each year, are emitted in producing this wasted food. This unconsumed food also uses up resources, and shortages of these resources may be critical in certain circumstances. It is estimated that the water needed to produce this wasted food is the equivalent of around three times the volume of Lake Geneva.
What solutions currently exist for sustainable food?
Continuing with the example of food wastage, solutions include using metal silos, low-consumption refrigeration, improved harvesting techniques, rationalising industrial processes and campaigns to increase consumer awareness. Sustainable food companies also offer tangible solutions for reducing energy consumption and promoting the recycling and minimising of packaging.
A word from the fund manager
“The selection of stocks comprises two stages. The first consists of identifying businesses that aim to resolve environmental and sustainability issues. The second consists of analysing the companies in terms of how they operate. This dual approach of what and how is important. And this cross-cutting assessment is a special feature of the investment approach.”
Michael Landymore, Senior Portfolio Manager.
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