I was first drawn to the concepts of sustainable agriculture and whole foods during my time interning with Greenpeace. I was part of a team working on a campaign against BT Brinjal in India. It’s been six years since then and although I think we’ve made some progress with awareness, we are still struggling to find more feasible and attractive alternatives.
I often get a lot of flak for wanting to promote sustainability and health in a country where majority of the population still doesn’t have access to three squares meals a day. Clients often tell me sustainability is a luxury that a stand alone restaurant struggling to pay rent cannot afford to indulge in. In my defence I’m making products that cater to a very small percentage of the city’s population: less than 2%, those that can afford to make smarter or rather healthier choices.
Adopting sustainable practices, especially in the food industry is beneficial directly and indirectly to every strata of society. Achieving food security through such practices has a lasting impact on the economy. The work Nestle did in the village of Monga in India* is a perfect example of how even developing countries, the ones most affected by natural disasters, can participate and prosper.
As consumers we have a responsibility towards demanding better practices and clearer labels. It’s a right we must exercise and propagate. As manufacturers we have a duty to keep up to the standards prescribed and constantly work towards better production methods. We must work together to find solutions that are both feasible and scalable. The growing need for food security should not be met with quick fixes but with well thought out, corroborated actions and practices for our present generation and the generations to come.
* The Nestle Case Study: http://sharingvalue.asia/case-studynestle/ https://www.nestle.in/csv/case-studies/milk-farmers