An increasing number of consumers are asking for and purchasing products that have been produced sustainably, including fruits and vegetables. The Hartman Group reports in its recently released “Sustainability 2021: Environment and Society in Focus” that nine out of 10 consumers consider at least one environmental or social well-being issue when choosing foods and beverages. The research and consulting company found that nearly 50 percent of the 2,000 U.S. consumers it surveyed indicated they are more concerned about the environment, and four in 10 are now more worried about social well-being, compared to 18 months ago.
Companies in all industries are announcing their plans and promoting their efforts to become more sustainable. Whether it is reducing their dependence on fossil fuels, lowering greenhouse gas emissions or switching to more sustainable packaging, companies are trying to show consumers they are working diligently to lower their impact on the environment.
In September 2019 following the USDA/NIFA Az-CEA Conference in Oracle, Ariz., representatives from academia, the agriculture industry and USDA met to identify and discuss cross-disciplinary areas of synergy, opportunity and need for the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry.
“Out of the CEA meeting in Arizona there were discussions about the environmental impact of controlled environment agriculture,” said Gary Stutte, founder and president at SyNRGE LLC. “As we were discussing the state of the agriculture industry the term sustainability kept coming up. Conference speakers talked about agriculture and sustainability related to a number of issues including the amount of water being used to produce food crops and the inefficiencies of land use. Controlled environment agriculture will be part of the solution for sustainable agriculture. Controlled environment agriculture will help feed the three billion people living on the planet.
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