Potato project

The Importance Of Your Food’s Environmental Footprint

Every Five Guys restaurant informs customers about the name and location of the farm that grows the potatoes being cooked in that store. While often going unnoticed, this small touch has significance: it gives customers a window in the store of the how the humble potato is shipped from farm to restaurant and transformed in French fries.

Consumers are more invested in the environmental footprint of food production that they ever have been. They want to see the full picture and make their voices heard alongside the farmers and other stakeholders in the food production supply chain. Change is not coming, it’s already underway. Thanks to technological advancements and shifting attitudes around sustainability, we are in the middle of a renaissance of sustainable food production.

With a window into the methodology behind growing and producing, consumers are more privy to information about the environmental impact of their food. Whether it’s a viral Facebook post or an eye-opening YouTube video customers have never-before-seen access to information that helps them understand how their daily choices affect the world they live in.

Shoppers are now asking questions such as “what are my purchasing behaviors?”, What habits or preferences do I have about the food I eat?”, and “what small changes can I make that will have a big impact?” Emotions are a key element in the rising focus of food’s environmental impact. Morals are involved, not just pocketbooks. They are more willing than ever to analyze the “convenience factor” of their decisions and balance it with their personal beliefs in order to make a decision. One of the most common situations is consumers choosing reusable water bottles over single-use plastics.

Other changes are empowering consumers to explore new approaches when shopping at the supermarket.

QR codes are being utilized in produce sections across the country. These QR codes allow shoppers to see more information about their food such as where it was grown, was it grown sustainably, how is the food package, and much more. This information plays an important role in helping customers develop a positive, personal attachment to their food.

There is newfound respect for farmers and the agricultural community as well as more empathy with the knowledge that food and meals do not magically appear our of thin air in the store or at a restaurant.

As a leader in the agricultural industry, the Netafim team is acutely aware of the realities of rising food demands and finite resources. It’s the agricultural industry’s responsibility to make sure farmers can grow food using efficient, sustainable, and environmentally conscious methods.

Water conservation is a topic that comes up repeatedly when talking about environmentally conscious farming. Enabling reduced water usage, especially when compared to sprinkler-based methods, and higher yields, drip irrigation enables farmers to reduce water usage and waste. A more precise application of nutrients also eliminates wasted fertilizer.

Incentive programs rewarding farms on a per-unit or lump sum basis are already in place. Carbon credits are being implemented for farmers, and water credit trading markets are likely to arise within the next five years. We are working to extend our SDI-E solution, which recycles wastewater and converts it into fertilizer, to include processing facilities, packaging plants, and other components of the supply chain.

As the world population grows, so does the pressure on the global farming industry. We are encouraged by the expanding and evolving alliance between consumers are farmers who are investing in the safeguarding of resources.