Food & Agriculture

The food industry currently faces a multitude of challenges:  a growing population, including a rising demand for resource intensive dairy foods and meat products,  needs to be fed, while impacts of climate change and nature degradation intensify production risks.
Biodiversity and ecosystem services concepts offer an holistic and integrative approach to develop solutions to these challenges. 

The European Business and Biodiversity Campaign has composed Fact Sheets on managing biodiversity in the food industry, which can be downloaded here:

The project "Biodiversity Criteria for Standards in the Food Industry" has developed Recommendations for Biodiversity Criteria in Standards and Quality Labels for the Food Industry.


The food industry’s supply chain highly depends on regulating services like water supply, climate and pollination. Therefore, if such regulating services fail, the supply chain can be effected until the point of collapse. The magnitude may be exemplified by the following facts:

By species extinction the genetic pool and therefore the possibility of investigating specific genetic  features, e. g. heat or coldness adaption, is limited.  Since such qualities could be important for the development of cultivars or products, they are also called ‘values of an option’. Since there are about 6000 plant species, but today only about 30 agricultural plants are commonly used in food production, this potential may get esp. important facing climate and global change impacts.

A growing use of social media also contributes to rapidly spreading word, e. g. about the destruction of orang-utang habitats by palmoil plantations, informing recent and potential customers. Also in classic media the critical reporting is getting more frequent and unresolved issues are likely to lead to loss of reputation and image. Especially food industry businesses were spotlighted in the last years.


The chances of a more holistic agricultural production are diverse. Some examples may be shown down below:

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