John Buchanan, Senior Director, Food Security, Conservation International
Beth Keck, Senior Director of Sustainability, Walmart

Healthy ecosystems are essential to food production. Nature provides food as well as ecosystem services, such as freshwater, pollination, and fertile soil, which are essential to long-term food security.

Today we face serious challenges related to food security - one billion people do not have enough to eat and another billion people do not have sufficient nutrition.  These challenges will intensify as the world’s population grows from 7 billion people to 9 billion by 2050.

Due to the importance of healthy ecosystems to sustaining farming and fishing livelihoods, the linkages between nature, human well-being, and regional and global stability are clear.

Solutions exist to break the cycle of resource degradation that impact food security and drive instability.  These solutions include recognizing the value of nature and protecting areas that provide important ecosystem services to food production; increasing food production using sustainable methods; strengthening governance and management of natural resources; and building capacity for better management.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and private employer, is committed to sustainability – it’s goals are to be supplied 100% by renewable energy, to create zero waste and to sell products that sustain people and the environment.

Through its sustainable agriculture efforts, Walmart is supporting more farmers in the community; focused on working with growers to produce more food with fewer resources; and sustainably sourcing key agricultural products, targeting palm oil, beef, seafood and cotton.

The private sector has a critical role to play in leading positive transformation of global food systems.  Walmart’s approach is driving change at multiple levels – it sends important signals to major commodity market sectors, such as palm oil. For smaller-scale producers, it opens the potential for market access and capacity building that is essential to building sustainable farming ventures.

 

Additional Resources:

» Walmart: Download Beth Keck's presentation

» CI: Download John Buchanan's presentation