Sustainability is a ‘meaningless buzzword’ - survey

A survey of agri-food professionals found that they are scathing of how sustainability has become a marketing tool.


Caitríona Morrissey, Irish Farmers Journal (Ireland) 

13 Sep 2019


Three in four professionals in the agri-food sector believe that sustainability has become a “catch-all buzzword” and lost meaning, a new survey has found.


The Agricultural Science Association (ASA) and Bord Bia have released the findings of a study on the current challenges facing the industry.


Commenting on the research, ASA president Amii McKeever said that sustainability has become a “much maligned word – trotted out as a catch-all marketing tool, with the result that there is much ambiguity about what it actually means”.


“We need to challenge the concept of a sustainable agri-food industry. I would argue we need to change our language to talk about the need for a viable, renewable and profitable industry which is at the same time economically, environmentally and socially sustainable,” she said.


Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, said consumer demand is changing the way the agri-food industry approaches product development and communicates our credentials.


“Origin and local produce are top of mind today, with consumers believing knowledge of these enable good food choices,” she said.


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