By Guillermo Devereux*, special for eFarmNewsAr.com
Buenos Aires, June 12th. Every time an exponential cycle starts up, as it is the case of technological innovations in agriculture, it could happen that we lose the ability to predict them, or at least it is very difficult to try.
As new technologies are created at an increasingly fast pace, and being adopted at record speeds by the markets, one could argue that the future could come at breakneck speed. However, these increasingly add less value and duration over time, and are generally worth less than their predecessors that gave less innovation to the user.
Our world is during a drastic shift towards more sustainable sources of energy. With the speed at which technology moves, it is expected that our energy infrastructure and delivery systems will evolve at an even more intense pace than we have known in the recent past.
And that the majority of human activities are under this green magnifying glass and must be reconverted or even better to create their own sustainable future.
This also applies to new generations where eating behavior is determined by external and internal factors, such as physiological characteristics and needs, body image, preferences, psycho-social development, health status, etc., leading them to reject traditional food and choose other subsistence allowance. And with a strong predominance of the ecological, it is a segment that will try to lead our world, their world, in a few decades.
Concepts as necessary as those of blockchain, traceability and labeling, radiography and subsequent reduction of transaction costs, digital farming, intelligent logistics (which puts the focus more than ever on the client who, with absolute power, determines success or failure at the stroke of a “Click” on the screen of your laptop “), they make their way in this nebula.
Changes in the distribution and sales channels have a significant impact on the value chain. These agents, the last link to the consumer and often the propeller of an induced demand, anticipating still hidden needs of the client or generating a niche differentiation, demand more and more this transparency through traceability.
And at the beginning of the value chain that takes this food to the gondola for the consumer, is the certification process. This process that begins with this maximization of transparency leads to improvements in environmental management and its constant monitoring, in water and soil conservation, as well as in the management of energy and biodiversity, waste management, optimal health conditions and safety for working conditions, and the use of agrochemicals allowed by the regulatory authority according to Good Agricultural Practices.
In this sense, and in the face of the dissociation of messages between the countryside and the city, the need to face commitments to climate change, and the environmental attacks, all these practices (bases of the license to operate that will be required increasingly vehemence), needs the public-private articulation, and the unification of messages and spokespersons by the food, feed & fuels value chain.
A good example of this in Argentina is the incipient search for public-private territorial agreements with the objective of agreeing on processes and objectives that make this district a sustainable designation of origin.
European regulation, based on increasingly stringent public policies, and added to private standards (supermarket as an example), as well as voluntary certification standards, today are already taking shape in North America (cases of Ontario and California), and only It is a matter of time that they come back to our country, where an anarchy of municipal restrictions is already on the rise.
*Senior consultant on Sustainability and Public Affairs at Somera SAS