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First Movers Coalition to Create up to $20 Billion Value Chain for Sustainable Farming

First Movers Coalition to Create up to $20 Billion Value Chain for Sustainable Farming - TRAVELINDEX.comDubai, United Arab Emirates, December 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Economic Forum, with support from the Government of the United Arab Emirates, along with more than 20 corporate and research partners in the food sector, launched today the First Movers Coalition for Food. The initiative uses the combined procurement power for sustainably produced farming products to speed up the adoption of sustainable farming, innovations and transitional funding.

Food systems account for more than 30% of global emissions and are critical in achieving the Paris Agreement and limiting global warming to below 1.5C. Aggregating demand for sustainably produced and low-emission agricultural commodities, therefore, can accelerate the transition to net-zero, nature-positive transitions in food systems.

“Through the First Movers Coalition for Food, leading global companies will send demand signals to catalyse the acceleration and adoption of environmentally friendly farming methods and green innovations. This collective public-private partnership will help de-risk upfront investments into more sustainable food production systems,” said Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.

The First Movers Coalition for Food comprises corporate champions from multinational and regional companies with significant purchasing power, value chain partners, farmer organizations and research partners alongside governments to improve existing food systems.

The new initiative aims to accelerate sustainable farming and production methods and technologies by leveraging collective demand for low-carbon agricultural commodities. It will do so through the power of aggregated demand, aiming for a combined procurement value for low-carbon commodities of $10-$20 billion from coalition members. Corporate partners currently participating in the coalition account for a combined revenue of $2.1 trillion, with operations globally.

Founding members of the First Mover Coalition for Food are leading companies that recognize the need for more sustainable practices and innovation in food production systems. Starting mid-December 2023, the World Economic Forum and participating companies and governments will work jointly to identify the demand commitments and pathways to support and mobilize the ecosystem to enable such transformation. The coalition is expected to publish its initial results of the collaborative work in the summer of 2024.

“The way we produce and eat food causes 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, uses over 70% of the world’s freshwater, and is responsible for 80% of deforestation and habitat loss in tropical areas,” said Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates. “If we don’t quickly find new, sustainable ways to produce and consume food, these problems will worsen in only a couple of decades. Showing clear demand for improvements in sustainable agriculture production methods is crucial for reaching our global climate goals, and we need to act now.”

Ahmed Galal Ismail, Chief Executive of Majid Al Futtaim, added: “We recognize how our role in reducing emissions across our value chains has an impact on the long-term sustainable health of people and the planet. As an increasing number of customers make the everyday choice to shop sustainably, we as a retailer have the responsibility to deliver more responsibly sourced and produced products. By joining the First Movers Coalition for Food initiative, we aim to amplify the demand for low-emission products and partner with those promoting nature-positive practices, fostering resilient agricultural systems with improved biodiversity and reduced water usage.”

Manny Maceda, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Bain & Company said the coalition will transform how companies procure agricultural commodities, enabling a shift toward eco-friendly production. “This will decrease the risks associated with required investments in low-emissions agri-food production, make it easier to expand to net-zero and nature-positive technologies, and help farmers adopt greener practices such as regenerative agriculture.”

About the First Movers Coalition
The First Movers Coalition for Food builds on the success of the First Movers Coalition for Industry, launched at COP26 in Glasgow by US President Joe Biden and the World Economic Forum in 2021.

The First Movers Coalition for Industry aggregates purchasing demand to create early markets for innovative clean technologies across eight hard-to-abate industry sectors: aviation, shipping, trucking, steel, aluminium, concrete and cement, and chemicals.

To date, the coalition has garnered the support of more than 13 government partners and 90 companies with purchasing commitments of more than $15 billion. This is the most significant demand signal for clean technologies for industrial sectors that the world has ever seen.

First Movers Coalition for Food members
Initial partners working jointly on shaping and accelerating significant demand signals and green procurement commitments include Bayer AG, Cargill, Danone, Louis Dreyfus Company, Majid Al Futtaim Holding Llc, Nestlé, NR Instant Produce PCL, Olam Agri, PepsiCo Inc., Sekem Group, UPL Ltd, Tyson Foods Inc., JBS S.A., and Yara International ASA. More companies will be announced in the coming months. Expert organizations supporting the process include Bain & Company, Ginko Bioworks, Grow Asia, IDH, Indigo Ag, International Rice Research Institute, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Tropical Forest Alliance, and University of Tokyo. The initiative is endorsed by the Government of the United Arab Emirates.