Big Wins 2017: food | WWF

Big Wins 2017: food

Posted on
23 diciembre 2017
 According to FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization), Colombia is one of seven countries with the potential to meet the food needs of the world. However, this opportunity is currently underexploited. The country wastes 9.76 million tons of food each year, and food production has a far-reaching impact on forests, and other ecosystems, and the environment. How can we consume in a more responsible way without overexploiting resources, degrading land, and generating vast amounts of waste? WWF-Colombia is finding solutions to this issue by working hand-in-hand with sectors that produce, process and trade commodities like beef and palm oil.
 
We first spearheaded the creation of the Colombia Sustainable Ranching Roundtable (MGS-Col) in 2014. This space for dialogue arose to support a specialized committee capable of proposing a viable sustainable ranching policy to improve the extensive ranching model that is currently expanding in many regions of the country without effective control, increasing deforestation and threatening ecosystems. Thanks to WWF’s support, Colombia joined the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Ranching (MRGGS), which promotes better practices for the cattle ranching industry worldwide.


© Alejandra Salazar / WWF-Colombia
 

In partnership with decisive actors, WWF-Colombia also promotes well-managed ranching landscapes throughout the country. The pilot plan was carried out with Alquería (dairy company) and some of its suppliers in eight municipalities in the departments of Putumayo and Meta. With Alquería, we established 17 sustainability indicators to conserve these municipalities’ rivers and forests while allowing for the continuous economic benefits of ranching activities. Similarly, an enormous contribution comes from the creation of the Colombia 2020 TFA Alliance, through which 33 private and public institutions promote the reduction of deforestation related to the agricultural production. Thanks to this joint effort, the beef, dairy, and palm oil productive sectors and industries will opt for more sustainable production chains. Among the businesses and organizations that form part of the agreement are Grupo Éxito, Alquería, Yara, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and Fundación Natura.


© Audra Melton / WWF-US

 
Recently, the palm oil industry demonstrated its commitment to more efficient land-use by signing the Voluntary Agreement for Zero Deforestation in the Palm Oil Value Chain, a commitment involving the National Federation of Oil Palm Growers – Fedepalma and Fedebiocombustibles, as well as palm-growing businesses like Grupo Oilsum and Poligrow, wholesale industrial buyers like Team and Unilever, and organizations like Solidaridad, Fundación Natura, and WWF-Colombia, among others.
 
Last but not least, this year brought with it progress in the fight against the contamination of ecosystems with discarded plastic, much of which is results from the production, commercialization, and consumption of food. In 2016, the “Reembólsale al Planeta” campaign carried out by WWF-Colombia and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development helped accomplish two achievements in particular: removing 31,000 plastic bags from the market during an ecological workday and setting forth legislation to entirely remove small plastic bags from the market. Building on the campaign, this year, actions took place in the fiscal realm; the government established a graduated tax on consumers of 20 Colombian pesos per plastic bag, and the tax will increase in 2018 to 30 pesos, in 2019 to 40 pesos, and in 2020 to 50 pesos.


© Pekka Nikrus / Flickr

Continue reading about the achievements and progress we made during 2017 here.

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