As the fresh produce and floral industries continue enhancing their sustainability and environmental stewardship initiatives, recently the International Fresh Produce Association helped shine a light on the ongoing work of its members and global community to improve the health of the planet during the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate Summit held May 8-10 in Washington, DC. IFPA Director of Sustainability Tamara Muruetagoiena represented the organization during the Summit.
“Part of our global sustainability strategy includes IFPA participating in these important food systems conversations, including the United Nations Conference of Paris (COP) 28. AIM for Climate is a prominent forum prior to COP28 later this year and gave us a platform to share with international heads of state and ministerial bodies the important work our members and industry are doing on carbon emissions and other sustainability issues,” said Muruetagoiena.
The Summit is a joint initiative by the United States and the United Arab Emirates that seeks to address climate change and global hunger by uniting participants to significantly increase investment in, and other support for, climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation over five years (2021–2025). In addition, AIM for Climate recognizes that diversity, gender equity, and inclusion are critical to the success of its mission and seeks to draw on participants’ diverse knowledge, experiences, and cultures.
Muruetagoiena observed three themes from the Summit:
- Climate-smart agriculture innovation, which aligns with current IFPA initiatives such as the second cohort of the Fresh Fields Catalyst Accelerator program, which includes 12 companies (hailing from Belgium, Canada, Chile, Israel, Scotland, and the United States) focused on delivering climate-smart solutions to the industry’s biggest challenges. IFPA is also actively engaged with the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance and is working to advance climate-smart production and marketplace through USDA grant funding.
- Soil health. Here, reducing tillage, managing nutrients, and utilization of cover crops were cited as the pillars of soil health, along with managing nitrous oxide levels, Muruetagoiena noted. IFPA is addressing soil health and regenerative agriculture through Virtual Town Halls, Webinars, and case studies. “It was very interesting to hear the cotton industry share its journey and successes in soil health, and I expect that IFPA will be presenting our members’ stories at next year’s Summit,” she said.
- Achieving gender leadership equality among agricultural businesses and growing the base of female farmers worldwide. IFPA is addressing this through its inclusion, diversity, equity, and access program portfolio.
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International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)