In photo from left to right: Bernardo Parlange, Marketing Director, Ecolab Institutional of Asia Pacific, Garry Scattergood, Editor-in-Chief, William Reed Business Media, Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, India, The Good Food Institute, Dr Christine Pitt, Founder & CEO, Food Futures Company, Pedram Assadi COO, Foodpanda APAC.
As the world’s population rapidly approaches the 8 billion mark, we are producing more food than ever before. If the trend continues, the future of food will see an unsustainable model. At the inaugural SG Food Tech Week 2019, key players of the food industry are beginning to see advancements in technology as a potential to transform global food systems into drivers of sustainable development. Ground-breaking technologies such as the Impossible Burger are starting to drive conversation around how we can sustainably consume food in ways that do not harm planet Earth.
Representing Ecolab, Bernardo Parlange, Marketing Director, Ecolab Institutional of Asia Pacific, spoke with industry experts in a keynote panel discussion on how new technologies are helping to strengthen global food security, safety and sustainability.
Key considerations debated during the panel included the opportunities and challenges brought about by new technologies. As Asia moves faster to keep up with growing food and changing consumer demands, we are seeing new processes to produce protein with plant or cell-based ingredients, as well as new ways that consumers order foods for convenience. The trends and shift in demand create new challenges and needs to evolve the processes and regulation to keep food safe in a changing and increasingly complex environment.
Due to the looming water scarcity, water usage is also a growing concern worldwide. Recognizing it as a key focus when it comes to sustainable operational efficiency, Bernardo highlighted Ecolab’s total impact approach to sustainability and highlighted JW Marriott Singapore as an innovative business in the local hospitality industry that uses technology to minimise water, energy and waste while having a more efficient operation. Since implementing SMARTPOWER™ in January 2017, JW Marriott has been able to achieve key sustainability improvements.
However, the steps that businesses are taking to achieve sustainability continue to raise concerns of corporate greenwashing. Bernardo feels optimistic about this, as he sees a closing gap between businesses choosing to be green and, at the same time, profitable. With advancements in technology, coupled with a strong environmental awareness in today’s future-driven consumers, business today “can achieve both without compromising one or the other.”
The conversation around sustainability for the future of food has already begun. However, it would require global cooperation between industry leaders and governments to continue and drive long-term action beyond words to pave way to a better, more optimistic future.
“A sustainable business is a smart business. As consumers are becoming increasingly motivated to be more environmentally conscious, and as technology evolves, the gap between being green and being profitable is closing – and businesses today can achieve both without compromising one or the other.”
— Bernardo Parlange
Marketing Director, Institutional- Asia Pacific