Weekly Digest

The Protein Pulse: 11-17 September

FAIRR’s top news story picks to keep your finger on the pulse of the protein sector.

90% of Global Farm Subsidies Damage People and Planet, Says UN

The Guardian | 14 September

Earlier this week, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) shared a new report highlighting the need for governments to step in to assess the current financial support offered to the agricultural sector. The report stresses that subsidies (often given to larger animal farming organisations) contribute to the climate crisis and the worsening of human health and social inequalities in the agricultural industry. Published ten days ahead of the UN Food System Summit, this report sets the tone for conversations that will be defined in establishing the long-term impact and future of our food system on our planet.

Can the Food Sector Survive the Water Crisis?

Sustainable Brands | 15 September

August’s IPCC report has warned us that more frequent and intense droughts are to be expected in the near future. The catastrophic effect of the climate crisis will by no means spare the food system – in fact, food production is likely to be among the first to suffer from the consequences of global warming as many of its industries, including the meat sector, are built around water supplies. An increase in droughts will lead farmers to increase their usage and reliance on groundwater, therefore diverting this resource away from local communities and crop farms. This will lead to greater inequalities within local communities unable to access freshwater but also more broadly as production costs – and therefore food prices – increase across both animal and plant-based foods.

US and EU Seek a Global Alliance to Cut Methane Emissions

Politico | 14 September

The US and EU have come together with the objective to cut one-third of their methane emissions by 2030. This agreement, presented in the runup to November’s COP26, seeks to galvanise other world leaders to join the pledge to lower the potent greenhouse gas. The pact is likely to have a severe impact on the three highest emitting sectors: energy, agriculture, and waste, as governments continue to seek solutions to meet the 1.5-degree world goal set by the Paris Agreement.

Graphic of the Week:

 

Source: Xu, et al., 2021, “Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Animal-Based Foods Are Twice Those of Plant-Based Foods”

More Food for Thought:

UK Supply Chain Survey Reveals Major Lack of Transparency on Sustainability | Edie
Cultured Meat Predictions Were Overly Optimistic | Neil Dullghan | Rethink Priorities
McDonald’s Is Launching Its First-Ever Vegan Burger | Kate Ng | The Independent