Adapting to climate risks and opportunities for Olam and communities
As stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors now represent about 24% of global warming pollution. These emissions come from many sources and processes – the release of nitrous oxide from the use of fertilisers; the release of methane from meat and dairy production; deforestation as farmers seek more land to increase yields; as well as energy and transport emissions.
According to CGIAR, “the proportion of emissions from sections of the food chain after food leaves the farm is larger in high-income countries than in lower-income countries. For example, these activities make up some 50% of food system emissions in the United Kingdom (Garnett, 2011). Middle-income countries will likely follow this trend in the future”.
As one of the world’s largest agri-businesses, with agriculture, processing and distribution operations, our responsibility is clear. We are already seeing that changing weather patterns are affecting crops and therefore communities. If the issues are not addressed climate change will impact global food security and prevent “the ending of poverty in all its forms everywhere” as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is especially important given that all the ‘low hanging fruits’ on agricultural productivity have been exhausted with productivity rises averaging just 1.3% a year between 2001 and 2010, and 0.4% a year over the past 4 years.
Ensuring we and our 4.3 million farmer suppliers, the vast majority of whom are smallholders in emerging markets, are implementing mitigation and adaptation measures to achieve the 2°C goal is therefore integral to our strategy.