Sustainability in the Food Chain (Industrial Report) - Ireland - October 2010
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Without food there is no life and for life to be sustained in the long run, the food chain itself has to be run along sustainable lines. While the food we eat sustains us, it also has the potential to put our long-term existence in jeopardy; producing the food we eat generates large amounts of green house gases (GHG) and huge quantities of waste. It is also a major consumer of water. In addition, there is a danger that in an effort to produce food in the quantities required and at the lowest possible cost, farmers, workers and other members of the food chain can be exploited and socially disadvantaged. Sustainability in the food chain addresses the issues of the food chain’s impact on the environment, on individuals and on society.
Today, implementing a sustainable food business can be seen not as a costly expense but as an investment. Cutting energy use, transport costs and maintaining stable and mutually beneficial relationships along the food chain saves companies money and ensures higher food quality. Consequently, for moral, economic and social reasons, a growing number of firms along the food chain are implementing strategies and actions which are moving the Irish food chain to a more stable base of operation.
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