Journal article
Biodiversity Monitoring in Long-Distance Food Supply Chains: Tools, Gaps and Needs to Meet Business Requirements and Sustainability Goals

Publication Details
O' Brien, M.; Bringezu, S.
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Rampant loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services undermines the
resilience of food systems. Robust knowledge on impacts is the first
step to taking action, but long-distance food supply chains and indirect
effects on and around farms make understanding impacts a challenge.
This paper looks at the tools available for businesses in the food
industry, especially retailers, to monitor and assess the biodiversity
performance of their products. It groups tools according to their
general scope to evaluate what is monitored (processes on-site,
pressures on landscapes, impacts on species), at what scale (specific
products, company performance, country-wide consumption levels), and
compared to which baseline (pristine nature, alternative scenarios,
governance targets). Altogether we find major gaps in the criteria for
biodiversity or the criteria is weak in certification and standards,
business accounting and reporting systems, and scientific modelling and
analysis (biodiversity footprints). At the same time, massive
investments have been made to strengthen existing tools, develop new
ones, increase uptake and improve their effectiveness. We argue that
business can and must take a leading role toward mitigating biodiversity
impacts in partnership with policy makers and customers.
Zero-deforestation commitments, for example, will need to be upheld by
supporting changed practices in consumption (e.g., choice editing) and
combating degradation within agricultural systems will require a shift
toward more regenerative forms of farming (e.g., with norms embedded in
robust standard systems). Operational targets are integral to monitoring
biodiversity performance across all scales.


Last updated on 2021-25-08 at 01:31