COVID-19 could foster new sustainable agricultural practices

Andrea Duarte
December 21, 2023

In our last blog post we discussed what is sustainable agriculture and the impact that shifting from traditional practices to sustainable practices can have. Putting the issue in a current context, sustainability has become an essential element in ensuring responsible use of resources to secure food production. In 2015 the UN proposed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative, which aims to mitigate the impacts of unbridled development, achieve a world without inequality and an environmentally conscious world. Goal 2 seeks to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and this is where we find out why this practice is important and how COVID-19 influenced the sustainable development of the industry. 

Sustainable agricultural practices and COVID-19

The digital revolution of agriculture has the potential to benefit both business and the planet and sustainability is fast becoming a priority in the sector. Although agriculture is one of the oldest industries and there is some resistance to adopting the technology, a study published in the Nature Sustainability journal in 2020 reported that sustainable agricultural programmes that offer a short-term benefit have a higher adoption rate than those aimed solely at providing a green service.  However, 82% of farmers agree that it is essential to improve the sustainability of the industry and restore soil health, otherwise fruit and vegetable crops would be the most affected.

In 2020 the FAO announced how difficult it would be to keep the entire population supplied because of the pandemic and called for increasing food production and an active supply chain. However, limited agricultural land expansion, rising production costs and climate change critically affected food production capacity.  For producers and distributors this implied searching for methodologies that would allow them to have more sustainable crops and supply chains with less food waste, implementing sustainable agricultural methods such as organic farming, biodynamic farming and permaculture.

This call for action has been increasing over the past 12 months, where it has become clear that factors such as COVID-19 directly influence our food system. Therefore, everything from the way of cultivation to the way of supplying products has had to be constantly readjusted.

sustainable agriculture

How can the supply chain be made sustainable?

The FAO states that one third of the food produced for human consumption per year is lost or thrown away in the consumption chain, meaning that, from farms to processing plants, markets, retailers and collective kitchens, tons of food is lost. There are many factors that influence this, but traditional transactional and communication methods mean that the time for these processes is extended, although the life of perishable products cannot be extended any further. This is where technology begins to play an indispensable role in agriculture, allowing centralised communication and streamlined transactional processes. 

Taking action to contribute to sustainability and the SDGs is an industry-wide challenge. At Consentio we have a proposal to increase your sales while reducing food losses. Find out more about the proposals adapted to your business:

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