On March 14, our President and CEO, Johan Westman, participated in the “Future Food Forum” in Stockholm. He pointed out that the food industry must have a holistic approach and called for global collaboration to secure food supply, as the demand for food is expected to increase by 70% by 2050. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of making decisions based on facts, not opinions, to better use existing solutions that we miss out on today due to misconceptions.
During the seminars, Johan Westman focused on the global holistic perspective and that we must step back and work together to feed the world. He spoke about the necessity for the policymakers and the industry to find the right incentives for people to start choosing the more sustainable alternatives in the stores and compared this to the change in the car industry, where China, Europe, and the USA simultaneously made it easier to choose electric or hybrid cars by offering subsidies like VAT deductions. That similar coordination or, preferably, collaboration is needed in the food industry.
Make decisions based on facts and logic
Part of the presentation was confronting the misconceptions about palm oil, which sparked a positive discussion with the audience. Johan Westman emphasized that decisions must be based on facts and logic, not opinions. That we miss out on many positive effects that existing solutions could have if we used them better, like palm oil, which has an undeserving bad reputation due to the deforestation legacy.
Palm oil is part of the solution
In an ambition to set the facts straight as a foundation for dialogue about sustainable solutions to produce enough food for the future population, as the demand for food is expected to increase by 70% by 2050, he highlighted that 80% of the deforestation in the Amazonas is due to cattle ranching. He said that palm oil is, contrary to what people believe, part of the solution, not the problem.
Other presentations were from producers like di Luca, Axfood, ICA, the Norwegian seafood council, and Swedish food startups. AAK's Regional Sales Director Nordic and Eastern Europe, Ted Fyke, and our Sustainability Director, Caroline Westerik-Sikking, were also present to meet with the curious customers and policymakers.
This was a good starting point for AAK to be more seen and heard, recognized for our positive impact, and as an important part of the sustainable food supply chain.