What does agribusiness professionalism have to do with Earth Day?
Earth Day is here, and it both gives us an opportunity to reflect on our commitment to the environment and serves as a call to action to support our most precious resource. It is crucial to focus on sustainability to protect our planet for ourselves and for future generations. Agribusiness professionalism can play a significant and important role in promoting sustainability and best environmental practices in the agricultural sector.
Agriculture and sustainability
The agricultural sector is often singled out as being at odds with environmental sustainability. This has led to some negative views of agriculture as a sector. While it is true that agriculture can have negative effects on the environment, including pollution and soil degradation, there is also a significant opportunity for sustainable agriculture. As farmers are some often the closest people to the land, they can be the best caretakers of the Earth.
Currently, there have been significant strides in reducing the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment. An example is the widespread push towards sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture, according to the FAO, must “meet the needs of present and future generations for its products and services, while ensuring profitability, environmental health and social and economic equity.” This will help increase food security while ensuring that future generations will also have the resources they need.
A related effort is regenerative agriculture, which focuses more specifically on aspects like soil health. Soil health is crucial for both yields and nutrition. Included in regenerative agriculture are smaller trends, such as no-till farming, which can significantly reduce soil erosion. Another related effort is climate-smart agriculture, which both ensures that agriculture can handle the current effects of climate change while also reducing the effects that agriculture will have on climate change in the future. With these efforts in place, agriculture can play a role in promoting environmental sustainability.
The importance of agribusiness professionalism
In many developing countries, farmers are organized into agribusinesses (including cooperatives, agri-SMEs, producer organizations, etc.). For these agribusinesses to practice sustainable, regenerative, and climate-smart agriculture, they must be professional. Agribusiness professionalism leads to many benefits, including sustainability.
Since our inception in 2010, SCOPEinsight has assessed the professionalism of over 6000 agribusinesses worldwide. By exploring the dataset, we can find many interesting insights into agribusiness practices. One is the connection between environmental practices and internal management. Internal management is one of the dimensions measured by a SCOPEinsight assessment. This measures the quality of how an organization manages, governs, and plans its business to achieve its objectives. We find that, as internal management practices become more professional, so too do environmental practices.
This sort of positive relationship makes sense. As an agribusiness’s internal management capacity increases, the agribusiness becomes more capable of implementing and improving its environmental practices, such as water, waste, and agrochemical management. These agricultural practices can help protect the Earth.
A professional and sustainable future
There are many benefits of focusing on agribusiness professionalism. If we want to promote a sustainable future, professionalizing agribusinesses is a crucial step. On this Earth Day, let’s celebrate all the professional agribusinesses who are both the caretakers of our food supply and of our planet. After all, what does agribusiness professionalism have to do with Earth Day? Maybe everything.
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