Food and Agriculture Session Highlights Inclusive Business Models for Systems Transformation at P4G Summit


At the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit Thematic Session on “Resilient and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems,” P4G network champions advanced strategies to strengthen food security through sustainable agriculture and reduce food loss and waste by accelerating innovative financial models. Moderated by Claire Kneller, Head of International Food Programme at Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the session highlighted the importance of scaling inclusive market-based solutions to transform food systems in developing countries.

Byeong-Am Choi, Minister of the Korea Forest Service delivered keynote remarks about the need to balance a sustainable and resilient agri-food system. Minister Choi highlighted the P4G Agroforestry for People, Peace and Prosperity partnership, which enables Ethiopian coffee farmers to restore degraded lands and export fair-trade products for the gourmet coffee market in Korea. The partnership hopes to replicate the business model to other major coffee producers in P4G’s ecosystem.

Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability at Rabobank framed food loss and waste as an investment opportunity, sharing Rabobank’s approach through an SDG 12.3 loan, which provides a financial solution that rewards positive accomplishments and sanctions based on performance. Rüter noted that Rabobank would be joining the P4G FLAWLESS partnership, as they work together to set ambitious measurable targets and accelerate action on the ground. “By doing so, we hope to be able to actually speed up the development into food loss and waste reduction by creating market incentives to do the right thing,” Rüter said.

Providing insights on FLAWLESS’ implementation in South Africa, Bruno Olierhoek, Managing Director and Chairman for the East and Southern African Region at Nestle, underscored how reducing food loss and waste is a necessary stalwart against food insecurity in the country. Sharing the FLAWLESS model of voluntary agreements for corporations to measurably reduce food loss and waste, Olierhoek noted how support from the highest levels in South Africa’s government inspired the private sector to come on board, and now smaller, local independent players are also signing up, making the approach more holistic across the entire value chain. With support from platforms like P4G, Olierhoek highlighted the importance of mobilizing financial systems for a circular approach.

Daan Wensing, CEO of IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative, shared how IDH through the SourceUp online platform, links buyers and smallholder farmers. As part of P4G’s Sustainable Sourcing at Scale Partnership in India, the platform has the potential to scale in P4G partner countries, linking markets across the world and collectively creating financial incentives to the benefit of nature, people, and the economy.

Charlotte Sorensen, Senior Project Manager, Arla Foods Ingredients, introduced the P4G Sustainable Food Partnership, which uses protein from local crops to produce a more nutritious biscuit for Ethiopia. Sorensen noted the importance of approaching this project through reverse engineering, where the partnership started by identifying consumer needs and the price they’d be willing to pay before working together with local producers to develop these products. The partnership is redefining the nutrition biscuits consumed by school children and refugees, with the hope to scale in similar markets experiencing malnutrition and food insecurity.

Closing the session, Fekadu Beyene, Commissioner of Ethiopia’s Forest and Climate Change Commission, remarked on the innovative and inspiring business models presented that are aimed at building resilience. He noted the important takeaway that market-based solutions are a silver bullet to deliver climate action at speed and scale. “P4G's unique position of bringing on board private sector stakeholders and hands-on experience and engagement of leading global networks will bolster the transformative impacts,” said Beyene.

Watch the full session recording here.