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    Transcending boundaries: “Growing food in a resource scarce world”, by Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever


    In the latest blog in our Transcending Boundaries series, Paul Polman, makes the case for the private sector’s responsibility to create momentum and to lead the way in global efforts to address sustainability challenges in an increasingly ‘resource scarce world’.

    Paul outlines the challenges which include population growth, food loss and waste and climate change. He describes them as putting enormous pressure on agricultural productivity, vital for food security and livelihoods. Paul says ‘no one will be immune’ from the effects of climate change, but it will be the poor—the majority of whom earn their living from the land—that are disproportionately affected. Indeed, 80% of all food consumed in emerging markets is produced on small farms.

    He reasons that sustainable agriculture is “at the very heart of these efforts”, and calls on the private sector to come together in the spirit of partnership to address these systemic challenges.

    And furthermore that the time is now – as we approach the climate talks in Paris and the imminent launch of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

    Paul is considered to be a pioneer in sustainability. As the CEO of Unilever, a world leader in food and detergent products, he holds a prominent and influential place in the business world.

    He received his BBA and BA at the University of Groningen in 1977 and then his MBA in Finance and International Marketing in 1979 at the University of Cincinnati. Upon graduating, he immediately began working for Procter & Gamble as a cost analyst. He stayed at the company for the next 27 years, working his way up to Managing Director and Group President in Europe in 2001.

    Polman joined Nestle in 2006 as Chief Financial Officer and Head of the Americas and in 2009 joined Unilever, taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer.

    Read the full blog here and browse the full 25th Anniversary Portfolio of Perspectives from other experts and leaders.

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