Tetra Pak unveils action-oriented approach towards food systems transformation

Tetra Pak is set to unveil an integrated strategy aimed at propelling the shift towards more secure, sustainable, and resilient food systems. Leveraging its prominent role in the food processing and packaging sector, the company seeks to instigate urgent changes. This initiative expands upon Tetra Pak’s leadership in the Global Dairy Processing Task Force, a component of the ‘Pathways to Dairy Net Zero’ climate initiative. The task force’s objective is to explore innovative systems and technologies that can further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in dairy processing.

Charles Brand, executive vice president for Processing Solutions & Equipment at Tetra Pak, emphasises the importance of transforming food systems for a viable future. Currently, these systems are deemed inefficient and unsustainable, contributing to over one-third of GHG emissions. Furthermore, one-third of produced food is lost or wasted, and 9% of the global population experiences hunger, with 30% facing malnutrition. Food systems also contribute to deforestation, biodiversity loss, and are considered the second most critical factor in addressing climate change, following energy. While phasing out food is not feasible, transforming these systems is essential for ensuring security, resilience, and sustainability.

Tetra Pak outlines four key pathways to expedite the transformation of food systems. The company has established roadmaps and measurable targets for each pathway, aligning with critical transitions proposed by the Food and Land Use Coalition.

  1. Enabling the transition towards more sustainable dairy: Addressing the environmental impact of dairy processing while supporting smallholder farmers’ productivity, profitability, and livelihoods.
  2. Innovating for new food sources: Diversifying with alternative proteins to complement dairy and other animal protein sources.
  3. Reducing food loss and waste: Developing food processing technologies to minimise waste during production, including solutions to convert low-value side streams into value-added products. Aseptic packaging solutions already contribute significantly to reducing food waste by extending the shelf life of perishable foods without preservatives or refrigeration.
  4. Scaling access to safe nutrition through sustainable food packaging: Designing and deploying solutions that preserve food quality and improve access to safe food.

This announcement coincides with Tetra Pak’s release of a white paper, developed in collaboration with EY Parthenon. The paper examines the key requirements for food systems to sustain both people and the planet by 2040.

Charles concludes by highlighting Tetra Pak’s commitment to driving a transformative agenda based on a robust evidence base. The company is actively engaging with various stakeholders, including government officials, policymakers, industry representatives, customers, and key opinion leaders, to transform food systems and propel the future of food beyond COP28.