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Food Companies Demand Climate Agreement from Congress


food-harvests-dragged-global-warming_55Ten global food companies urged both the United States and world leaders to design an international agreement to address climate change in a joint letter.

Released on October 1, the letter was coordinated by Ceres and signed by the CEOs of ten major companies including Nestlé and General Mills. Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, expressed excitement that these historical competitors were able to come together over something worthwhile.

The CEOs from Mars, Inc.; Unilever, General Mills, Nestlé USA, Kellogg Company, Ben & Jerry’s, New Belgium Brewing, Stonyfield Farm, Clif Bar and Dannon USA all signed the letter.

Mars, Inc. CEO Grant Reid said, “As a society we face immense challenges, including climate change, water scarcity, and deforestation. We cannot stand back and simply accept these things as they are.”

Ceres also organized a climate change briefing in Washington, D.C. sponsored by Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to add even more pressure.

Paul Grimwood, the Chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA, knows the risks of climate change. “Global weather pattern affect crop yields, water availability and infrastructure integrity. These change impact the business we do every day as well as the work of farmers, suppliers and distributors across our vast network of partners”.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has linked climate change to social unrest and price spikes in many disparate parts of the world since the dramatic changes in weather can seriously affect food supply. The IPCC expects food prices to rise 3-84% by 2050. Future food security is uncertain because the most important factors, rainfall patterns and temperature, are hard to predict.

As reported by Hannah Furlong for Sustainable Brands, the letter was published in the Financial Times and Washington Post. It explains what the companies will do to make their operations sustainable and calls for the government to set specific, evidence-based targets for reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Hopefully, the government will take the letter’s advice and build “a sound agreement, properly financed, that can affect real change”.

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