How climate action improves farmer livelihoods

September 19, 2016

How climate action improves farmer livelihoods

By Chris Hood, President, Kellogg Europe

In today’s world, multiple pressures are affecting global businesses. Science shows us that climate change will stress our natural resource base and agricultural productivity. At the same time, we need these resources more than ever as our human population is expected to grow another 1.2 billion by 2030, and the global middle class is set to double by 2030 from 2 billion today. This is why food companies, like Kellogg, are working on a variety of fronts to address the risks climate change poses – to us and to the world’s food supply.

Climate-smart agriculture 

When it comes to food, people care about where it is made, the people who grow it and that there will be enough food for everyone. As climate change continues to threaten the future of food across the world, businesses are taking action to support farmers, protect land, and improve farming communities.  A primary example of this work is climate-smart agriculture. This approach is designed to secure a sustainable food supply under changing climate conditions. This is accomplished by sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting practices and building resilience to climate change impacts; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.

How does climate-smart agriculture work?

Investing in farming families and communities who grow food ingredients supports the livelihoods of millions of farmers, including smallholders and women, around the world. In Europe, for example, Kellogg works with wheat farmers who help nature as they grow grains for our cereals. The program provides participating farmers with free soil assessments, in-field practical training and crop trials, farmer exchange sessions, access to experts, and support in the application of seven natural heritage practices, such as planting cover crops and buffer strips.

Sustainable food means healthy forests 

For some ingredients, sustainable farming means healthy forests. The rapid expansion of palm oil plantations is causing rapid deforestation and endangering communities and animal habitats. Business efforts and commitments, including our own, include supporting the development of sustainably grown palm oil to help achieve zero net deforestation globally by 2020.

Climate and food security  

Because so much care goes into growing our ingredients and nurturing them from farm to table, the last thing our food system needs is for those efforts to go to waste.  Food security is interconnected with climate because we must help make sure food gets from seed to table. This means working to prevent food losses at the farm gate, diverting waste, and ensuring foods get to the communities where we all live and work. Relieving hunger is a passion for our company, which is how our Breakfasts for Better Days hunger relief program provided more than 1.4 billion of servings – more than half of which were breakfast – to families in need around the world.

The power of partnerships  

The challenges climate change poses to our food system are real. And we know we can’t do it alone. There is immense power in partnerships that bring attention to the role of business leadership on climate change. I believe that continued involvement with governments, NGO’s, and organizations is needed to emphasize the importance of food security in the face of climate change.

This post is part of a thought leader series from the 2016 Business & Climate Summit, held in London from June 28 – 29. Chris Hood, President Europe, Kellogg Company, was a speaker at the session, “Achieving Climate-Positive Land Use in Agriculture & Forestry – The Role of Business”. 

Additional Posts: