Via a recent webinar hosted by Britain’s leading National Famrs’ Union (NFU), the organisations brought together more than 50 public procurement and catering experts together to drive the discussion on delivering net zero initiatives.
What was discussed during the webinar?
In the wake of COVID-19, procurement, sourcing and the supply chain has come into greater focus. Like never before, these terms have become familiar household phrases.
With this spotlight, c-level executives and customers alike are increasingly interested in what an organisation’s procurement and sourcing policies entail.
The NFU’s webinar titled ‘Delivering Net Zero Together’ discussed many timely topics for the farming industry, as well as the significant role that farming has in solving climate change.
Farmers and ways to achieve net zero ambitions
During the discussion, it was emphasised that not only is working towards net zero emissions ethically right, it also makes good business sense and can lead to profitability.
A fourth-generation arable and poultry farmer commented: "There’s a strong link between net zero and profitability. What works for net zero makes good business sense."
When it comes to how these ambitions can be achieved a significant strategy for the industry is to start thinking locally rather than regionally when it comes to procurement.
Professor Jude Capper, Chair of Sustainable Beef and Sheep Systems at Harper Adams University, said: "The carbon footprint of the foods we eat vary considerably. Global averages are published but are inappropriate given all food production is regional. We need to think on a local level."
Tim Radcliffe from East Lancashire’s NHS Trust also stressed the importance of farmers and growers becoming a part of the public food sector supply chain to shorten the processes. "95% of all public sector food is supplied by five companies. British farmers and growers need to be part of that supply chain. We need to shorten supply chains not lengthen them,” said Radcliffe.
He added: "If each public sector caterer can change just one item to British that they buy, it can make a massive difference. The story behind our food is important and the public sector can drive change."
Closing the webinar, NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts asked the industry to work in tandem with nature. By doing this the industry can make better use of every hectare of viable food production. Which with 60% of land unusable for agricultural production other than grazing, every hectare truly does count.
"It was great to see people passionate about public procurement join the event from Northumberland through to Cornwall and hear how we can collectively work together and champion the benefits of great British food," said Roberts.
To watch the webinar, click here.