The “hidden costs” of global food and land use systems are estimated to be US$19.8 trillion per year (Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit, 2021): $7 trillion of environmental costs and $12 trillion of health costs. At the same time, many hidden benefits such as healthy and nutritious food are also not accounted for.
Agri-businesses are waking up to the importance of recognizing, measuring and managing those externalities. Indeed, today’s negative externalities are tomorrow’s business risk.
As part of the project ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEBAgriFood)’ funded by the European Union, the TEEBAgriFood business platform works with businesses in 7 countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand) to adjust agri-business models by supporting them to understand and manage risks and dependencies on nature.
In 2020, TEEBAgriFood Operational Guidelines for business were launched, going beyond existing guidance for business by considering the interdependencies between nature and people in the food value chain. This an important stepping stone towards mainstreaming natural capital into decision-making in diversified value chains and geographies.
By 2023, through the TEEBAgriFood Business platform, over 400 agri-business representatives will have demonstrated understanding that - with nature on their ‘balance sheet’ - they are more likely to thrive in future scenarios. Agri-Business roundtables and training sessions pave the way for agri-business to measure and manage not just their impacts on financial capital (ie. shareholders), but also their impacts and dependencies on natural capital and the society at large.
The TEEBAgriFood for business platform is led by Capitals Coalition, in collaboration with national business networks.