Ando InvestingAndo Stories

What Are Sustainable Food Systems?

As an Ando customer, you’re familiar with sustainable banking. But sustainable food systems—what's that? Basically, sustainable food systems encourage the growing of crops and raising of animals in a way that provides solid nutrition to people around the world, while not destroying the environment with harmful farming methods and chemicals. 

The concept of sustainable food systems can be broken down into three main categories--economic, social and environmental. Here are the issues with the traditional food system, with sustainable solutions. 

Economic — farming is a business like any other, and too often the norm is to make a profit by cutting corners, while accepting subsidies and incentives to overproduce. 

Sustainable farming is economically viable and considers the effects on people and the planet (while still making a profit) to ethically raise high-quality food and sell it at a fair price at local farmers markets or to local restaurants and stores.  

Social — the traditional food production labor force — from laborers to packers to drivers — has notoriously been underpaid, with few benefits and low job security. Also, the work is generally done in dangerous conditions. 

Sustainable famers are socially just and do everything they can to offer a fair wage, protect the health and safety of the workers, and increase the growing season to provide job stability.  

Environmental — traditional agriculture can erode soil, pollute air and water, artificially stimulate plant growth with fertilizers, and controls pests with dangerous pesticides.  

Sustainable farmers are environmentally sound and use less fossil fuels to run their farms, produce fewer greenhouse gases, conserve water, fertilize with composting, and rely on people to do the work instead of energy-intensive technology.  

What all sustainable agriculture has in common is producing nutritious food, with respect to the environment, reducing waste, offering fair wages and safe working conditions. This is the way farming was practiced for centuries before modern technology and the widespread use of chemicals. But with increased domestic population and a growing demand from international markets, family farms have been supplanted by Big Agriculture with an eye on the bottom line, usually putting profits ahead of sustainability. 

Besides the three important categories above, sustainable food systems are vital in addressing the causes of climate change. A report by the United Nations shows that food production is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, at 39% of the total

The European Union’s chief scientific advisors demanded change and put sustainable food systems at the core of the European Green Deal, calling for environmental, health and social benefits, as well as fairer economic gains. The European Commission adopted a set of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, transportation and taxation policies fit for reducing greenhouse emissions by at least 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels).  

Ando's green initiatives 

How are we investing in a better future?

Discover the industries that are making a difference. 

Clean Energy

Clean Energy

Solar, wind, water——clean energy is revolutionizing the way we power our planet.

Read more

Sustainable Transportation

Sustainable Transportation

Leaving fossil fuels in the dust, sustainable transportation is fueling a cleaner tomorrow.

Read more

Green Buildings

Green Buildings

It's more than just a color. Green buildings are making architecture and construction cooler and cleaner.

Read more

Sustainable Industry

Sustainable Industry

Reuse it or lose it? Sustainable industries are working towards less waste around the world.

Read more

Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry

Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry

Pivotal to the future of our planet, sustainable agriculture and forestry are rooted in positive change.

Read More

Start fighting climate change by banking smarter

A mobile banking experience with features designed for you and your world. Fee-free and carbon-free, always.

Get $15*
when you join Ando

Get up to $15* when you receive a qualifying direct deposit of $100 or more and use your debit card up to five times in the first 30 days—and discover how you can help fund a more sustainable tomorrow just by banking better. View Terms and Conditions