Water is arguably the most important nutrient on earth. It is “the universal solvent,” providing…
The COVID lockdown and movement restrictions in South Africa have undoubtedly hastened the evolution of consumers reconnecting with the origin of their food—and those who produce it.
Throughout 2020, more and more people began using online food platforms, choosing to source food directly from farmers and growers. Unfortunately, once the movement restrictions were eased, most people soon returned to the old habits of ‘convenience’ shopping at the supermarkets. I say ‘most’, because the seeds of change were undoubtedly sown.
During the lockdown, people had a taste of a different future: a post-COVID-19 scenario where food—and farmers—really matter, and where farm certifications like A Greener World could ensure the production and consumption of nutrient dense, sustainably produced foods, and without political, socioeconomic and environmental restrictions.
COVID-19 forced many consumers to take stock and ask questions about where their food comes from and how it is produced, and if it has the nutritional value to contribute positively to their immunity and overall health. At the same time, farmers and food businesses across South Africa were awakened to opportunities to meet this new demand.
Clem Sunter, the internationally acclaimed authority on management strategy, scenario planning, and corporate social responsibility, has been warning for a long time about the world of “haves and have nots,” the urgent need to reconnect producers and consumers of food, and our reckless association with food production that leads to huge amounts of food waste.
Certifications like those offered by A Greener World build relationships of trust between producers and consumers, and can help to fix this disconnect.
At the crossroads
In South Africa, we are rapidly approaching a crossroads in farming and food production. South African farmers face numerous off-farm threats, including development funding and government policies that massively favor ‘volume’ production and chemical-based intensive farming systems; farm attacks and murders, leading to a very insecure rural farming environment; impeding legislation that threatens traditional commercial farmers and dampens their ability to produce sustainably; poorly maintained local infrastructure; and the impacts of climate change, such as intermittent drought periods, which all make the matter of food and commodity production even more challenging. These issues must be resolved.
Of course, not all farmers are capable and willing to integrate with food value chains. But many are open to regenerative production principles. A Greener World is ideally placed to play an important role in integrating value chains and building local food supply chains, supporting the production of food with integrity using regenerative production principles.
Dr. Pieter Prinsloo and family raise beef cattle at Langside Meats in Queenstown, South Africa