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Food and Agriculture CEOs: Industry Making Strides on Sustainability

Thursday, May 26, 2016

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Washington, D.C. – Food and agriculture companies are making important strides on improving sustainable production, but should continue to step up their commitments, according to a new call to action from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation, a group of leading industry executives.

Leaders of DuPont, Elanco, Hormel Foods, Kellogg Company, and Land O’ Lakes, Inc., will release Food for Thought: A Call to Action on the Future of Sustainable Agriculture at a BPC event later today. The call comes as summer approaches and Americans prepare to gather around picnic tables with friends and family. Food is an important part of an American summer—and consumers want to know how and where their food is produced, and who produced it.

To that end, the council’s call to action outlines what each member company is doing to engage with consumers to answer these questions, how each company is investing in a more sustainable food supply, and what needs to happen to improve sustainability all along the production chain.

As part of the report, each of the council’s member companies commit to the following actions:

  • Improving livelihoods, productivity, and resiliency through more sustainable practices.
  • Engaging customers and consumers through transparent communications around food and agriculture.
  • Increasing collaborative decision-making across the food and agriculture supply chain.

“At Kellogg, we strive to make great-tasting food people love and feel good about eating. People care about where their food comes from, the people who grow and make it, and that there’s enough for everyone,” said John Bryant, chairman and CEO, Kellogg Company. “We work with farmers, communicate transparently to consumers and collaborate with peers in organizations like the Bipartisan Policy Center to drive action for the future of food.”

“It is clear that we need to focus more resources on finding sustainable ways to increase food production and move individuals from hunger to adequate nutrition,” said Jim Collins, executive vice president at DuPont. “We are committed to initiatives that increase collaboration, such as BPC’s CEO Council on Sustainability, so we can work together to help ensure people around the world have enough food to eat for generations to come.”

“As leading organizations in the food and agriculture sector, we understand that our collective efforts are needed to address the increasing threats to food security,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods. “By working together, we can accomplish more than any of us can on our own.”

“To meet the challenges of providing safe and affordable food for a growing population and preserve our limited natural resources, we need solutions that incorporate data, innovation and partnerships along the entire value chain,” said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes. “It’s not going to be the action of one company, or these five companies—we all must participate and take action to have a true impact on the sustainability of our food supply and our planet.”

“Food and agriculture are at the center of one of the greatest challenges of our time—providing enough wholesome, affordable food in a sustainable way to nourish our growing population,” said Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco Animal Health. “We must work more collaboratively across the entire supply chain to enable innovative, science-based solutions that protect the health of people, animals and our planet.”

The CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation recognizes that the U.S. food and agriculture industry has a long record of innovation and sustainability. But as these challenges evolve, the industry can and must do more to address food security, increase resilience of food and agriculture systems, and improve sustainability. Through collective actions, continuous advances in innovation, and more coordinated decision-making, the council is working together to share concrete successes to inspire other companies across the food supply chain to take action.