The food and beverage industries are under increasing pressure to become more planet-positive, and consumers are playing a key role in driving the change. Leading companies are focusing on several key areas to improve their environmental trajectory, including ingredient sourcing, the supply chain and operations, and regenerative agriculture. Their unified efforts are proving that the sum is greater than the whole of its parts when it comes to confronting the challenges associated with creating the world’s finest food and beverage products.

February 21, 2024

3 Min Read
The power of us: Tackling the food industry’s massive footprint

The companies charged with delivering innovative food and drink solutions are making strides in their policies regarding environmental consciousness, but there is still a long way to go. Continuous innovation, collaboration, and consumer support are crucial for achieving a more sustainable future for food production and consumption.

Companies are putting an emphasis on ingredient sourcing, which has led to new efforts at transparency and verification to ensure responsible practices. Prescient formulators are choosing ingredients with reduced carbon footprint and are promoting practices like agroforestry. Upcycling innovators are reducing waste by finding new uses for discarded materials. Plant-based alternatives like chickpea flour and microbial protein have animal-based ingredients in their crosshairs.

The supply chain is greening up as well, with traceability, reducing waste, renewable energy, fermentation and regenerative agriculture as the new hallmarks of the most sustainable delivery networks. Get an in-depth understanding of the latest eco-friendly innovations by downloading this free digital magazine. The articles include:

Viewpoint: Regenerative roots – Lessons from indigenous farmers

Smallholder farmers and indigenous communities have been using regenerative practices for thousands of years, and according to Heather K. Terry of GoodSAM Foods, not much has changed in the way these communities farm. That’s why she partnered with them and honored their long-standing traditions. Content Director Audarshia Townsend explores Terry’s better-for-you, snack-happy company, which depends on popular sustainable ingredients like cacao, coffee beans, macadamias and other nuts for chocolate bars, chocolate-covered nuts, dried fruits and more.

Food and ingredient companies rewrite the recipe for a greener future

Food companies are increasingly focusing on environmental viability in their ingredient sourcing and product development, demanding transparent practices from their suppliers, and using advanced tools to assess potential risks. They’re also finding new uses for waste materials to reduce environmental impact and provide value for farmers. Cindy Hazen details sustainable solutions from ingredient suppliers Corbion, Tate & Lyle, ofi, Solar Foods and Virginia Dare.

Investing in food’s future: Food and beverage businesses see value in sustainability

By tracing supply chains, closing the food loop, forgoing fossil fuels and leveraging fermentation, leading companies lean on innovation and collaboration to significantly reduce their environmental impact and build a more eco-friendly future. Kimberly J. Decker reveals how organizations like Foodology by Univar Solutions, Layn USA Inc., Global Organics, Fiberstar, World Centric, M2, Cargill, ADM and the Almond Board of California are making great gains when it comes to planet-forward solutions.

Unique ingredients yield in-demand, one-of-a-kind beverages

Functionality and sustainability are attractive features for consumers, while unique ingredients can set brands apart. Overcoming formulation challenges like taste and solubility, however, is crucial for success. Executives from REBBL, Graasi Organic Barley Grass Water and Magic Mind share their secrets in this roundtable coordinated by Melissa Kvidahl Reilly.

Examples of sustainability takeaways for your business include:

  • Encouraging off-season crops provides farmers with additional sources of income and food, which helps maintain the local ecosystem through pollination, pest control and soil health.

  • Recovering the coffee cherry fruit produces cascara, which can be processed into a water-soluble powder with a unique flavor. The upcycled ingredient can be used in applications such as beverages, desserts, bakery and snacks.

  • The already huge global beverage market is expected to grow from a value of roughly $3.5 trillion in 2023 to $4.4 trillion in 2028, and the challenge of brand differentiation is only increasing.

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