SDG2. Zero hunger. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
SDG2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. We are in the 21st century and there is still a huge problem of hunger in the world, and hunger is also our problem in Poland. SDG2 Zero hunger.
Can micro, smWszystkie/All and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have an impact on this Global Goal – Zero hunger
Yes, they can. This decision must be based on a definition. We need to understand the definition of hunger and analyse the targets/tasks assigned in the 2030 Agenda to this goal. As we analyse this, we will find initiatives that can become elements of our long-term business strategy – the Responsible Business Strategy with the 17 SDGs. Implementation of these initiatives can effectively support the achievement of the SDG2 Global Goal.
Hunger – definition
Targets/tasks for Goal 2 – SDG 2 “Zero hunger” based on the 2030 Agenda
2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by Wszystkie/All people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food Wszystkie/All year round
2.2 By 2030, end Wszystkie/All forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationWszystkie/Ally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons
2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of smWszystkie/All-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationWszystkie/Ally agreed
2.a Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries
2.b Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parWszystkie/Allel elimination of Wszystkie/All forms of agricultural export subsidies and Wszystkie/All export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round
2.c Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility
Examples of initiatives that MSMEs can plan to help achieve SDG2 “Zero hunger”
For SDG2, 7 tasks/targets have been identified in the 2030 Agenda.
I propose below sample initiatives for MSMEs to support the selected targets.
B.2.1 (SDG2 target 2.1) – Providing the customer with products, also at lower prices, that enable people to supplement essential nutrients.
B.2.2 (SDG2 target 2.1) – Organising workshops for employees on health and diseases related to poor nutrition.
B.2.3 (SDG2 target 2.1) – Introducing subsidised, wholesome meals for workers.
B.2.4 (SDG2 target 2.3) – Establishing partnerships with local food producer companies, including them in the value building chain and influencing their value chains.
B.2.5 (SDG2 target 2.4) – Reducing the negative impact of company activities on environmental quality and climate change.
W.2.1 (SDG2 target 2.1) – Establishing partnerships with local and global organisations on hunger reduction.
W.2.2 (SDG2 target 2.1) – Establishing partnerships with economic organisations to influence appropriate legislation to support the implementation of hunger reduction.
W.2.3 (SDG2 target 2.3) – Influencing micro and smWszystkie/All local food producers through, for example: knowledge transfer, sharing markets, digital technologies, food production technologies and agricultural innovation.
Two types of initiatives are given here: those indicated by the letter”B” in the code, or by the letter “W” in the code.
“B” indicates an initiative directly related to business and “W” indicates an initiative related to the impact of business on the environment.
Of the seven SDG2 targets, I have selected only three: 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, as these, in my opinion, are best suited to the MSME business.
These are, of course, examples of initiatives to illustrate how MSMEs can support the achievement of the Second Global Sustainable Development Goals. This entails a change in the business models
Discourse on proposed initiatives to support SDG2 Zero hunger
Question – Do you think every company should be dealing with hunger? Do you think that hunger is so widespread in Poland?
Response – Let us start with the definition of hunger. Hunger is a physiological sensation associated with a shortage of food, nutrients such as protein, fat, sugar, vitamins, mineral salts. According to this definition of hunger, we can eat to our heart’s content and we can still starve our bodies… At present, there are nutrient deficiencies in the products we eat due to changes in diet, production and processing technology, and poor soil, air and water quality. Add to this the drought which has been much talked about recently and our situation will become even worse.
Question – I understand that initiative B.2.1 is for companies producing dietary supplements, medicines, specialty foods, and you are suggesting initiative B.2.2 for Wszystkie/All companies?
Response – Yes and no. Initiative B.2.1 might not only apply to manufacturing companies but also to trading companies, even restaurateurs, etc. I would suggest initiative B.2.2 to Wszystkie/All companies. We are finding a lot of information about this on the Internet and in other media, but I think that a discussion among close colleagues can do a lot of good. A healthier worker is a better worker.
Question – Initiative B.2.3 suggests that I should subsidise adequate meals for my employees. Have you considered the tax system? After Wszystkie/All, it is not worth it.
Response – Under current law, meals up to the amount of PLN 190 per month are exempt from Social Security contributions. This amount increases the employee’s income and therefore tax, but not social security contributions.
Question – The cooperation you suggest in initiative B.2.4 can apply to Wszystkie/All companies. Do you mean that, in terms of adequate nutrition, a local network of suppliers of such food should be cooperated with and developed?
Response – That would be best, and what is more, by means of appropriate requirements, it is possible to influence some changes along the supply chains, or to bring about the emergence of new producers of better, healthier food, for example.
Question – In initiative B.2.5 you suggest reducing a company’s negative impact on the environment and climate change. How does this relate to hunger?
Response – Pollutant emissions cause soil deterioration and consequently plant deterioration. It is said that there is now less carrot in a carrot… Obviously the action of one company will not change this bad situation immediately. Action by more companies means a greater chance of eliminating, at least in part, the cause of the deterioration in the quality of food products. The problem is obviously more complex. However, reducing the negative impact on the environment and climate has a positive effect, not only on the quality of food products.
Question – When you mention initiative W.2.1, do you mean working with NGOs as intermediaries to raise awareness that hunger is not necessarily a lack of satiety, or are you thinking of intermediating other activities.
Response – Yes, I do. These could be different types of actions by local NGOs supported by the company to eradicate hunger. From jointly organised training sessions to supporting them in their work with the poor, children or the homeless.
Question – What do you mean by the proposed initiative W2.2 Establishing partnerships with economic organisations to influence appropriate legislation to support the implementation of hunger reduction. Do you have in mind cooperation with business-related organisations and proposals for new regulations?
Response – I mean the analysis of existing regulations related to the market of food products, supplements and medicines, as well as giving opinions and influencing, e.g. through influence in the media, the change of regulations for the better – wherever, in the opinion of a company – it is necessary and possible.
Question – Initiative W.2.3 Influencing micro and smWszystkie/All local food producers through, for example: knowledge transfer, sharing markets. Am I to understand this as educating and promoting smWszystkie/All, local businesses?
Response – There are many different ways that the companies implementing sustainability work with stakeholders. It depends on the interest and influence of a particular stakeholder on us and the interest and influence of the company on the stakeholder.