“IfCo. Global has introduced innovation in agriculture that is necessary to combat the pressing environmental and social issues our generation and future generations are facing.” - Charlie Stuart Gay
kiki van vliet
Loyola Marymount University
IfCo. Global is a company committed to the sustainable food transition. As a planet we are facing a crisis to meet the food needs of a growing population. IfCo supports multiple companies that are working towards the same goal of ending hunger and feeding the planet as the population grows. Our current food system cannot support the population; it is damaging the environment and biodiversity. Their innovative solution to this is agroecology and creating sustainable food systems. Agroecology combines “ecology and science to the creation and management of sustainable food systems and involves 10 or more interconnected principles ranging from the maintenance of soil health and biodiversity to the increase of gender and intergenerational equity.” -Charlie Stuart Gay
IfCo. Global is centered on investing in low impact crops on the supply chain and agroecology. Plant based products are a primary way to combat climate impact from the food industry. However, in our interview with Charlie Stuart Gay, he explained how nuts have a massive impact on water scarcity. Nuts are a common ingredient in vegan and plant based alternatives. Yet, coconut pulp produces over thirty usages and an almond produces only three. It takes over a gallon of water to produce just one almond. Having sustainable and plant based products have its limitations and IfCo. Global are creating innovative solutions to create sustainable farming and agriculture for future generations.
Through agroecology, IfCo. Global utilizes agroforestry and multi-cropping methods to grow multi-functional and low-impact plants like coconut and cassava. Multi-cropping methods create opportunities for producers to increase diversity to their crop rotations, creates additional economic opportunities, mimics nature and builds soil health. Production in the supply chain of IfCo. Global companies are centered around producing low impact crops while using agroecology in farming methods. One agroecology principle that is used is agroforestry, which is the use of trees and crops in farming systems, by recycling nutrients in this multi-dependent, beneficial relationship between trees and the crops it grows. Low impact crops are those that use limited resources in the seeding, growing, and harvesting of the crop. Low impact crops such as cassava and coconut are used and promoted by the company because of its low environmental impact as well as the crops usage ability. IfCo. Global supports companies that are developing innovative plant based food and beverage products that align with their SDG goals.
IfCo. Global strives to practice “healthy and sustainable living for ourselves and our land”. As the population rises, IfCo. asked themselves how to feed 10 billion people by 2025, and used this question to guide their actions as they influence the health of the world and to help the planet heal. Since the agricultural revolution, production is at an all time high. This consumption has changed the way our economy runs, and how businesses work. A big challenge for IfCo. is to get people to eat and live sustainably in a society where consumption is at an all time high. IfCo has had lots of experience in the global food marketplace with their leading grain-free alternative crops and their conscious kitchens initiatives, and they have many insights into all aspects of a food ecosystem. They are able to understand and participate in all aspects of the food industry which allows them to reduce risk and understand the importance of food systems at all levels. To feed 10 billion people IfCo. has laid out clear actions: “reduce food waste, move to a plant-focused diet, return land ownership to indigenous peoples, and support cooperatives that produce more tonnage per hectare on their lands”.
The innovations of IfCo. benefit business, society and the environment. Due to their commitment to their mission, each of the companies within IfCo. have become successful, profitable businesses with the implementation of agroecology and have flourished in their own way. As consumers begin to care more about the sustainability of products and their consumption, they look for brands with transparency and brands who are doing good for the environment. IfCo. believes that customers have the right to know where their food is coming from and how it reaches their plate. This is not only a business benefit because it drives customers toward IfCo, but it benefits the planet through conscious production. Society as a whole will benefit from the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. Low impact farming provides food and jobs for the local population and it boosts domestic GDPs and the host countries. Not only this but host countries are able to export products which benefit other countries. Also, “research shows that farmers who adopt agroecology have greater food security, higher incomes, better health, and lower levels of indebtedness.” Reducing food insecurity also reduces poverty and increases gender equality. Lastly, the environmental impact of sustainable farming is immense. Sustainable farming means maintaining the integrity of the natural environment and not over-using the earth's natural resources. If the innovations of IfCo are implemented on a large scale and long term the effects will be massive.
IfCo. Global operates as a holding company rather than a fund, IfCo can circulate compounding interest through reinvestment into expanding clean agriculture solutions. They can thereby create mitigated, collateralized risk as well as higher than average returns because of their land tenure/ rights strategy and also ventures strategic involvement in the complete seed to store value chain. The authenticity of the business model brings consumers to trust the company and want to contribute to their sustainable development goals. Profitability is a compounding result of IfCo. Global’s company's efforts to influence both the health of this generation and help our planet to heal.
Additionally, treatment and equity of employees is highly important for IfCo. Global and they are shifting the way of equity and inclusion in the workplace. A healthy workplace where employees are heard and respected creates a successful work environment where employees want to see growth and wellness for the business.
The societal and environmental benefits of IfCo.’s innovations have reduced water usage immensely as they apply agroecology to multiple uses for crops and creating multi crops. They have weighed different health benefits of food and the foods' impact on the environment to find a sustainable balance. For example coconuts have 30 uses and use less water to produce than almonds which only have 3 uses. Water is a scarce resource, and how IfCo. is finding ways to reduce water usage, they are also creating actions to keep water plastic free by supporting biodegradable packaging. Sustainable education among youth is important to change the future of plastic usage.
IfCo. has committed to influence and aid developing countries whose indigenous farmers have lived in poverty and have not been fruitful. They do so by creating and investing in farmers programs that create the best solutions for plant crops. They are encouraging low GDP countries to reduce the number of imports and food aid and increase exports. IfCo. is influencing society to become health conscious while still eating great food.
Charlie Stuart Gay, Co Founder of IfCo.
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Business Website: https://www.ifco.global/
Year Founded: 2009
Number of Employees: 51 to 200
IfCo. Global is a holding company using agroecology in their companies' supply chains to move the food industry towards sustainable food production. IfCo Global’s primary directive addresses the critical needs of feeding a swelling population, reducing dependence on irrigated water, expanding and implementing regenerative agricultural programs, and interconnecting efficient food systems, addressing climate crisis by impacting both supply chain and consumer demand.