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Sustainability and environmentalism is becoming more and more prominent in society. In a previous blog, What is this whole sustainability thing all about?, I covered what I understand sustainability to be about. The questions that often follow are why should I care and what can I do about it anyway?

As the global population continues to increase, and increasing pressure is placed on the earth to support the demand for food, the way in which this food is produced becomes of greater concern to every individual. Only 10.6%1,2 of the land in the word is arable land, and the arability of land is subject to change if not utilised responsibly.

Every individual in society is reliant on agriculture for the food they eat. The choices that we, as consumers, make in what we buy, influences the demand which is created for certain products or brands. Some products and/or brands make the effort to ensure that food is produced in a sustainable manner, which has a minimal impact on the environment, as well as being produced in a socially acceptable manner. If a demand is created for these products, rather than ones which are not sustainably produced, this will influence the manner in which agricultural products are produced. Producers of food, and food products, will be forced to take into account the sustainability of their products if consumers place a high priority on responsibly produced food.

Many people will ask what difference they can make as an individual, but is not the ocean made up but of a multitude of drops? If every individual stopped using the excuse of what they cannot do, but rather focused on the few things they can do, this could add up to having a significant effect on society. The call is to every consumer to consider, and verify where possible, whether the agricultural products they are buying are being produced sustainably.

References:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_use_statistics_by_country
  2. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.ARBL.ZS/countries?display=graph
Craig Galloway

Craig Galloway

Craig is a sustainability researcher. He studied Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University before joining the Trace & Save team in January 2013. He is passionate about environmental stewardship and the sustainable use of natural resources for food production.

Craig loves travelling and tries to go on an overseas adventure to new and interesting places every opportunity he gets. He loves an engaging conversation or a good book. He is a bit of a coffee snob and foodie, so be sure to let him know about any new and interesting coffee shops or restaurants he should try out. He is also a big sports fan, most notably of the New England Patriots.

You can e-mail Craig at craig@traceandsave.com,
Craig Galloway