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WEF launches new initiative to accelerate sustainable farming

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on 1 December announced the launch of its new First Movers Coalition for Food initiative, aimed at accelerating sustainable farming and production methods and technologies by leveraging collective demand for low-carbon agricultural commodities

Accounting for more than 30% of global emissions, food systems are critical in achieving the Paris Agreement and limiting global warming to below 1.5°C. Aggregating demand for sustainably produced and low-emission agricultural commodities can therefore, accelerate the transition to net-zero, nature-positive transitions in food systems.

By utilising the combined procurement power for sustainably produced farming products, WEFs new initiative — comprising of corporate champions from multinational and regional companies — speeds up the adoption of sustainable farming, innovations and transitional funding. The objective of the initiative is to accelerate sustainable farming, production methods and technologies through the power of aggregated demand, aiming for a combined procurement value for low-carbon commodities of US$10-20bn from coalition members. Corporate partners currently participating in the coalition account for a combined revenue of US$2.1tn, with operations globally. 

Manny Maceda, CEO and chairman of the Board of Bain & Company stated that the coalition would transform how companies procure agricultural commodities, thus enabling a shift toward eco-friendly production. She further highlighted that this would significantly reduce the risks associated with required investments in low-emissions agri-food production, in turn making it easier to expand to net-zero and nature-positive technologies, and help farmers adopt greener practices such as regenerative agriculture.

Starting mid-December 2023, the WEF along with participating companies and governments, will work together to identify the demand commitments and pathways to support and mobilise the ecosystem to enable such transformation. The coalition is expected to publish its initial results of the collaborative work in the summer of 2024.

“Through the First Movers Coalition for Food, leading global companies will send demand signals to catalyse the acceleration and adoption of environmentally friendly farming methods and green innovations," said WEF president, Børge Brende. "This collective public-private partnership will help de-risk upfront investments into more sustainable food production systems." 

Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim acknowledged the companys role in reducing methane emissions across their value chains and the impact that it had on the long-term sustainable health of people and the planet. "By joining the First Movers Coalition for Food initiative, we aim to amplify the demand for low-emission products and partner with those promoting nature-positive practices, fostering resilient agricultural systems with improved biodiversity and reduced water usage."

For more information about WEFs work at COP28, visit: