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  June 26th, 2017 | Written by

The Challenges of Sustainable Food Supply Chains

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  • Population increases and economic improvements in emerging markets are putting strains on food supply chains.
  • In a world of rising populations, development challenges and climate change, businesses need to adapt.
  • ConAgra saved $22 million through its sustainability initiatives.

Ever-changing consumer demands, climate change, and the reduction in global water supplies are some of the challenges facing food supply chains. A recent report from DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre) explains how addressing these factors through technology, innovation and sustainability initiatives may help tackle the expected population growth in the next ten years and its implications on the supply and demand of food.

The report, “Sustainable Food Supply: the Key to Feeding the World,” also summarizes five key factors that companies operating in the food trade supply chain need to consider when looking expanding internationally, while ensuring optimum trading capabilities.

Food security has emerged as a growing concern in many parts of the world, with a rapidly growing population, development challenges and climate change. DMCC’s report seeks to underline the need for stakeholders across the supply chain to adapt and address these concerns, as well identify benefits and opportunities.

“As the world’s population continues to increase, and emerging markets continue to improve economically, hundreds of millions of new consumers every year need ever-greater supplies of food,” said Sanjeev Dutta, executive director of commodities at DMCC.

The top consideration for sustainable food supply chains is location, and the report highlights the importance of finding a city with world-class seaports, airports, and road infrastructure. Additional considerations include expertise, partners, resources and regulations.

Location. Find a location that can take full advantage of the most attractive global networks in the food supply chain.

Expertise. Companies without adequate expertise to tackle international expansion will likely need to hire new talent. “The best way to find the best talent,” says the report, “is to ensure your operations are surrounded by like-minded companies with like-minded professionals.”

Sustainable food supply. Dinding the right partners to do business with is crucial to a successful international expansion strategy.

Resources. “Tapping in to the right knowledge base is crucial to staying ahead of the curve in the food supply industry.”

Knowing your supply chains. International organizations are required to know the legal and regulatory requirements across all borders and boundaries in the supply chain. Consumers are demanding ever-greater levels of transparency and accountability. Good starting points include the Dodd Frank Act, the California Supply Chain Transparency Act, the UK Bribery Act, and the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.