Rabat – Moroccan Phosphate and fertilizer giant OCP Group is one of the few companies leading the world towards realizing a sustainable food system. The ranking came from the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) which published its 2021 Food and Agriculture Benchmark on Tuesday, September 22.
The WBA evaluates 350 of the most prominent food and agriculture businesses in the world, assessing how these organizations are working towards a sustainable food system in the near future. The 2021 Food and Agriculture Benchmark made a dire conclusion, stating that “the sector is not on track in transitioning to a sustainable food system.”
This worrying assessment shows that many of the world’s largest companies that deal with one of humanity’s primary needs, food, are not doing enough to move towards a sustainable model that takes climate change and depleting resources into account.
Bucking this worrying trend are only a few large multinationals that appear to be taking the long-term perspective in our changing world. At 4th place, Morocco’s OCP Group featured among the handful of companies that are making a difference to create a truly sustainable food system.
OCP Group’s efforts to transition to a sustainable food system was bested only by three of Europe’s largest multinationals, Dutch food and hygiene giant Unilever, French dairy company Danone, and the Swiss food and drink multinational Nestle.
The WBA stated that OCP “performs strongly in the governance and strategy measurement area, due to its sustainability strategy that includes targets on multiple topics.” It commended OCP’s “long-term targets on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water use.”
OCP Group’s remarkable efforts to implement a holistic long-term approach toward sustainable food systems was recognized with a spot among some of the world’s largest and most profitable companies. OCP performed better than all US companies, including iconic companies such as Pepsico, Kellog’s, and Coca Cola Group.
Yet, the outstanding performance of Morocco’s fertilizer giant becomes more apparent when comparing its score with that of its closest competitors. OCP’s direct competitors all fared very poorly, showing a lack of commitment to climate action.
Among OCP’s direct competitors, Norwegian chemical company Yara International was the second best, ranking 36th in the list. Canadian fertilizer company Nutrien was next, sharing 65th place with vegetable oil company Fuji Oil Holdings. Russia’s PhosAgro, one of OCP’s largest competitors, took the 80th spot.
OCP’s largest rival, US mining company Mosaic, revealed itself to be the outdated and climate-hostile company that many locals living around their operations have confirmed. The company, which has strip-mined much of its Florida heartland, ranked 86th. It received poor scores on all measures, from its governance and strategy to its scores for social inclusion, nutrition, and environmental policies.
The troubling findings of the 2021 Food and Agriculture Benchmark show that only a handful of food and agricultural companies are doing their part to transition to sustainable food systems. This worrying trend means that some of the world’s largest firms continue to count on a food system that endangers future generations.
A sustainable food system requires people to have food security and proper nutrition, produced in a way that does not exhaust our planet’s resources, leaving future generations in distress.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization defines a sustainable food system as one that is profitable, produces “broad-based benefits for society” and has either a positive or neutral impact on the environment. These three factors made up the key point of evaluation in the inaugural Food and Agriculture Benchmark.
The benchmark’s publication coincides with the run-up to the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, which kicks off in New York on September 23. The event, dubbed the “People’s Summit,” will be led by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and aims to be a “historic opportunity to empower all people to leverage the power of food systems.”
The summit hopes to raise awareness about the current unsustainable way in which food is produced. The summit conveys that while the current system is highly profitable for a limited number of multinationals, it is leaving a devastating impact on our planet by deepening the food-insecure situation of billions of people.
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