As we head into the final weeks of 2023, it is time to reflect on the big topics that sustainability professionals working on food and agriculture grappled with and advanced over the year — and which will help define the challenges ahead in 2024.

The big buckets such as regenerative agriculture, sustainable diets and circularity we address in GreenBiz’s reporting and events don’t change quickly because those are issues that will require many years of continued work. But the cross-cutting themes within those buckets are dynamic, responding to economic trends, sustainability lessons learned and other developments.

  • Unpacking the biodiversity buzz 2023 has been a hallmark year for making carbon tunnel vision a thing of the past. More companies have recognized that holistic social and environmental solutions will bring us closer to a resilient economy than optimizing only for carbon sequestration.
  • Giving Indigenous peoples a seat at the table 
    Addressing diversity, equity and inclusion has been an increasingly important topic for sustainability professionals since the murder of George Floyd in 2020. The issue has since reached far beyond the rights of Black people. This year, the role of Native Americans and Indigenous people worldwide in transforming food systems has become a particular focus.
  • Getting creative to fund the transition
    Most programs and technologies that enable decarbonization or improve social outcomes require upfront (if not continued) investment. Mobilizing those dollars has been especially difficult in 2023’s challenging economic climate, so we’ve seen more innovation and creativity around financial incentives. But it also led to market consolidation, especially in the alternative protein industry.

Read the full article about food trends of 2024 by Theresa Lieb at GreenBiz.