Preparing the agri-food sector for change

Posted: May 9, 2022
by bioentadm for Bioenterprise

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Meet Bioenterprise sustainable innovation sponsor: MNP

Evolving market expectations around environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are driving change on a global scale – and Canada’s agri-food sector must adapt to keep up. How and where to do that is part of the services that MNP, a national accounting and business consultancy, offers Canada’s agriculture industry.

It’s also a leading reason why MNP has become a Bioenterprise Canada sustainable innovation sponsor.

“Like Bioenterprise, we believe that valuable contributions to global discussions around sustainability will help to better educate and shape the strategy for climate action,” says Edward Olson, Leader, Environment, Social and Governance at MNP. “We’re a proud supporter of Canada’s agricultural sector and the entrepreneurs who fuel innovations that advance the industry – and we found that Bioenterprise’s support of sustainable agricultural is very aligned to ours.”

In agriculture, as well as other industries and sectors, Canada sells into markets whose consumers and governments are more stringent around ESG, he notes, which means that although the country is well known today for the quality of its products and practices, that may no longer be enough to be competitive in the future.

Change will be mandated through a combination of public policy and market demand. The federal government has set a course for Canada with its new climate law that sets a national target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, so the business of the future will no longer be business as usual. MNP’s agriculture practice is now helping to raise awareness of the coming change.

“If you don’t know what your practices are, you need to evaluate them and figure out where to make change and how that change can make an impact,” Olson says. “That means knowing what that carbon footprint is from field to plate in your business so you can have an educated conversation around investing in cleantech and green tech, and new approaches to how we do business, grow crops and raise livestock.”

MNP’s team helps its clients evaluate what will be expected, compare that to their current operations and identify opportunities for improvements. That includes farm- or business-specific changes, as well as areas that have industry-wide impact, such as regenerative agriculture practices to sequester carbon in the soil, for example.

According to Olson, actions and changes will need to be tracked and backed up with a formalized traceability system that can be verified by an independent third party to be credible – but ultimately, reducing the carbon footprint will still prove to be more economically viable moving forward as demand for this continues to increase.

The new sustainable innovation partnership with Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, will help MNP advance sustainability in Canada by providing its clients and network with tools, resources and information that better educates the next generation of agtech companies and innovations.

“This is not a one-off effort by one farm; we must look for solutions across the country and make change that won’t put farmers out of business,” Olson says. “Bioenterprise Canada is an invaluable partner in the sustainability movement and a strong voice for Canada’s agri-tech community. We feel that their collaborative network across the agri-tech ecosystem will help support and advance innovations in the industry.”

As Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, Bioenterprise Canada brings more than 15 years of industry experience and a national and international network of research institutions, academia, mentors and experts, government, and industry to help small and medium-sized businesses in the sector nationwide Connect, Innovate, and Grow.

To learn more about the Engine’s sustainable innovation commitment and examples of novel, sustainable innovations its programs support, or to become a Bioenterprise sustainable innovation sponsor, visit https://bioenterprise.ca/sustainability/ or contact Carla Berquó, carla.berquo@bioenterprise.ca or 519.821.2960 ext. 205 / 1.866.464.4524.

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