Food manufacturers and food distributors have reached a crossroads: the traditional approach, characterised by an infinite range of products and an excessive use of land, raw materials and resources, no longer fits the bill. Nowadays, a company’s offering has to be more specialised, more useful and more healthy. In addition, sourcing must be done more efficiently, more responsibly and more sustainably – not only because of the increasing food demand over the next 50 years, but in particular because, for such a fundamental necessity of life as food, the responsibilities extend much further than for products such as cars, holidays, fashion or entertainment.

Such responsibilities include ensuring a fair division, providing financial transparency, offering a mature response to consumption-driven lifestyles, maintaining a focus on value, and communicating information clearly and concisely.

If any specific area offers the opportunity for creating value, then it is this one – and the process can even be enjoyable along the way

There’s a need for a new approach, new strategies, new solutions and new ideas – which in turn requires companies who are capable of playing a significant part in this change process. A number of new competencies are required – by this we mean creativity, communication skills, the art of establishing ties, and entrepreneurialism. These may at first appear less rational, yet they are indispensable for the future. Finally, and this is where The Food Agency gets pragmatic, while it can be useful to have a sense or vision of the road ahead (top-down thinking), there’s little point unless you actually do something with it (bottom-up action).