WORLD HUNGER DAY: WHAT BUSINESSES CAN DO

a young hand gently holds an ear of wheat against a sunny sky

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious, but perhaps none so much as goal number two: Zero Hunger. The UN believes that with the right changes, agriculture and fisheries can provide food for all whilst generating incomes and protecting the environment.

This World Food Day the International Standards Organisation (ISO) has made it clear it knows how to achieve zero hunger. ISO standards address efficiency, sustainability, and social issues in land and resource use.

More than 800 million people go hungry each day, while nearly to billion are overweight. This is a poor balance, one World Food Day raises awareness of in the hope it will be addressed by industry figures. The agricultural and fishing industries are both capable of making changes that will improve the lives of millions, and the ISO has detailed them.

The ISO has more than 1,600 standards for food production, nearly 850 of which are from one of ISO’s most established technical committees, and all of which the organisation believes will directly help to end world hunger.

According to ISO, the key to sustainable food systems is in a holistic approach to the food supply chain – the livelihoods of every worker along it must be ensured. The forthcoming ISO 34101 series on sustainable, traceable cocoa beans should bring about more effective agricultural practices whilst improving environmental and social conditions for 14 million cocoa farmers.

Another food sector application of ISO 26000 is also in the works, giving companies guidance on integrating social responsibility into the food chain. For more information on ISO standards and how businesses can help end world hunger, look at the standards here.