Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represents a significant value creating opportunity for business. According to the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, achieving the SDGs will create up to US$12 trillion of market opportunities for companies across the four economic systems studied in its landmark report Better Business, Better World (food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials and health and wellbeing). In the food and agricultural sectors it estimates that achieving the SDGs could unlock 14 major business opportunities worth US$2.3 trillion annually by 2030, for example reducing food waste in value chains could be worth US$405 billion to the private sector.
To unlock these opportunities, companies, who until now have made a broad corporate level commitment to supporting the SDGs, need to fully operationalise their commitments into their products and services, supply chains, and social investment programmes – so achieving them becomes increasingly part of business as usual. More specifically, for businesses sourcing from smallholder producers, linking commercial strategies with the SDGs opens up significant new opportunities.