We interviewed Joseph Taets, SVP and President, Asia Pacific for ADM, to offer our readers a taste of what’s to come at the summit in October.
Read on to learn about the challenges and solutions for food producers in the APAC region, as he shares critical insights into the impact climate change is having on food production, and the necessary steps needed to take to build a secure and resilient food ecosystem.
Given the challenges posed by climate change and its far-reaching impact on food production, what steps are ADM taking to build a resilient food system for the future?
We recognise that the health of our natural resources is critical to ensuring food security in Asia-Pacific. With our vast supply chains and direct connections with growers, ADM is in a unique position to lead and support sustainable practices throughout the entire value chain to help build a secure agri-food system in Asia.
At the farm-level, ADM is helping to accelerate the adoption of regeneration agriculture practices through incentivization and technical assistance support under our re:generations™ program. Our commitment to 100% deforestation-free supply chains is also helping us advance our efforts to improve biodiversity, water security and livelihoods for grower communities. Within our operations, we continue to progress on our Strive 35 targets to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and landfilled waste by 2035.
Beyond those examples, we are also leveraging promising technologies to reduce our carbon footprint, such as carbon capture and storage, forming strategic partnerships, and increasing investments to build a resilient food system that safeguards the region’s food security and our planet’s future.
What do you see as some challenges and solutions for food producers in the APAC region?
The region has a dynamic and diverse landscape for food production and agriculture, with 450 million smallholder farmers producing 80% of the food in Asia. It is also the world’s most populous region with a rapidly growing middle class. This diversity presents both opportunities and challenges for food producers.
With relatively smaller scale of inputs and outputs, food producers may find it challenging to implement complex agricultural technology that requires significantly more resources to reach economies of scale. To address these challenges and be able to provide the needed nutrition to billions in the region sustainably, food producers have turned to more efficient and less resource-intensive solutions such as regenerative agriculture or sustainable land management practices.
In India, ADM is supporting farmers through various partnerships to provide training on the use of fertilisers, seed treatments and responsible pesticide management. This helps ensure that everyone has long-term access to the nutrition they need.
How can the industry drive innovation in APAC? What synergies or collaboration opportunities exist in the region?
Innovation plays a fundamental role in creating a more resilient and sustainable food system for our growing population. With the advancement and speed of development in the science and technology space, we see collaborations as an opportunity for companies to leverage each other’s unique strengths and expertise to create future-forward solutions.
For example, ADM has built deep fermentation expertise over the years, and we are bringing our global capabilities to the region through a joint venture with Temasek’s Nurasa. Launched in 2022, the joint venture ScaleUp Bio is helping food tech companies to scale their fermentation innovations, enabling the creation of new food and ingredients. Innovation in food production will help pave the way for an inclusive, efficient, and sustainable global food system.
Hear more from Joseph as he joins the opening panel on Tuesday October 31: “Building Resilience: Food Security at the Intersection of Agriculture, Water and Climate”. Check out the agenda to find out more.