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Thursday, December 14, 2023

The 12 months in meals: These traits will assist outline 2024

As we head into the ultimate weeks of 2023, it’s time to mirror on the large subjects that sustainability professionals engaged on meals and agriculture grappled with and superior over the 12 months — and which is able to assist outline the challenges forward in 2024. 

Logo for all year ahead 2024 stories.

The large buckets reminiscent of regenerative agriculture, sustainable diets and circularity we deal with in GreenBiz’s reporting and occasions don’t change rapidly as a result of these are points that can require a few years of continued work. However the cross-cutting themes inside these buckets are dynamic, responding to financial traits, sustainability classes realized and different developments. 

Unpacking the biodiversity buzz

2023 has been an indicator 12 months for making carbon tunnel imaginative and prescient a factor of the previous. Extra firms have acknowledged that holistic social and environmental options will deliver us nearer to a resilient financial system than optimizing just for carbon sequestration. 

At our inaugural biodiversity occasion Bloom 23, we dove deep into how firms can higher perceive their nature-related dangers and dependencies and leverage associated enterprise alternatives. We now have additionally examined this pattern in articles all year long:

As extra firms assess and disclose their total impacts, 2024 will doubtless supply insights into how the expanded consciousness will change enterprise practices. 

Giving Indigenous peoples a seat on the desk 

Addressing variety, fairness and inclusion has been an more and more vital matter for sustainability professionals because the homicide of George Floyd in 2020. The problem has since reached far past the rights of Black folks. This 12 months, the position of Native People and Indigenous folks worldwide in reworking meals methods has develop into a specific focus.

Our protection of this matter in 2023 included:

We’ve solely dipped our toes into the advanced and important position Indigenous peoples should play in creating sustainable meals methods. 2024 ought to additional deepen our understanding of what to do and what to not do with regards to respecting their rights and constructing belief with communities. We’ll be looking out for profitable case research to cowl. 

Getting inventive to fund the transition

Most applications and applied sciences that allow decarbonization or enhance social outcomes require upfront (if not continued) funding. Mobilizing these {dollars} has been particularly tough in 2023’s difficult financial local weather, so we’ve seen extra innovation and creativity round monetary incentives. Nevertheless it additionally led to market consolidation, particularly within the various protein business. 

We’ve checked out this difficulty from many angles — carbon markets, VC methods, company investments and extra:

Following the reckoning we’ve gone via in meals innovation and carbon markets, we could get fortunate and see renewed investor confidence in local weather options subsequent 12 months. Let’s hope the upward swing in local weather tech funding from this 12 months’s third quarter continues into the brand new 12 months.

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