How WWF’s new digital hub is helping the food industry become more sustainable

April 5, 2023

Recently-launched digital information hub The Future of Business is the latest effort from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) that aims to promote sustainability in the food industry and beyond.

The WWF has said its Future of Business platform is intended to promote sustainable business solutions for companies based in Central and Eastern Europe, with a stated focus on the food industry. The digital information hub will offer insights into how to act sustainably for businesses. 

Future of Business hub offers food industry sustainable solutions 

The non-governmental organisation reports that the agricultural and aquacultural industries are responsible for endangering 22,900 of 42,100 threatened species. However, it has also highlighted that the private food industry sector can inspire positive change through sustainable practice.

The Future of Businesses currently offers featured articles, as well as videos and podcasts, with the recently-launched first season of the Future of Business podcast aiming to “ignite the vital conversation on the business case behind sustainability.”

The WWF has also said its Future of Business hub will also produce specialised events for members of the industry to share insight and expertise.

“We have created “The Future of Business” with the purpose to examine what the future of our region could look like and how to shape it in favour of people and nature,” said Peter Baráth, Regional Director of Marketing and Partnerships at WWF-CEE.

The Future of Business has been established with five central themes: climate leadership, water and forest stewardship, finance and food systems, which will be explored via the aforementioned podcast, as well as articles and videos too.

The Future of Business podcast is sponsored by roof window manufacturer VELUX, which has a developed relationship with the WWF. Back in September 2020, WWF and the VELUX Group announced a 20-year partnership which sees VELUX commit to the Science Based Targets initiative, which would mean reducing CO2 emissions across its supply chain.   

WWF’s new digital information hub joins other initiatives such as the From Bait to Plate programme. (Photo: WWF)

WWF’s new digital information hub joins other initiatives such as the From Bait to Plate programme | Credit: WWF

WWF adds to food industry initiatives 

WWF’s new digital information hub is its latest effort for exacting positive change in the food industry. The organisation claims that approximately 7.3 billion people consume 1.6 times what natural sources can supply, with the future looking challenging for meeting widespread demand for food. 

Some of the WWF’s work within the food industry includes the From Bait to Plate initiative, which sees illegally-caught seafood prevented from entering the food chain. With a focus on the United States, the initiative aims to support the American seafood industry by “creating a level playing field for honest US fishers and [conserving] the future health of our oceans.”

The initiative suggests the introduction of catch documentation, with the use of new technology to trace seafood’s movements throughout the supply chain. There is also a mention of using satellite-collected vessel data to identify whether a boat has operated in illegal fishing areas.  

Another noteworthy initiative from the WWF is its agreement with Ecuador’s National Chamber of Aquaculture, which occurred in October 2022. WWF-Ecuador and the Cámara Nacional de Acuacultura signed an agreement to stop habitat conversion from shrimp farming across the nation, described at the time as the “first national conversion-free aquaculture from any country across the globe.” 

Ecuador has apparently suffered from coastal habitat loss as a result of conversion for shrimp farming. With demand for shrimp rising, along with Ecuador’s reputation as the leading exporter of the crustacean, the new agreement will use data provided by Clark Labs to analyse land use in coastal regions. The data will be used by the National Chamber of Aquaculture to understand how coastal regions are being converted year-on-year. 

“It is time for a change in the way we produce commodities such as shrimp, in a more environmentally friendly way, particularly respecting mangroves, and not contributing to their degradation,” said WWF-Ecuador Country Director Tarsicio Granizo at the time.

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