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Agro-food business: In the heart of Business or Business with a heart?


*Image Source: Pixabay

The term ‘agro-food business’, as defined by Rosa Caiazza of Parthenope University of Naples and Tiziana Volpe National Research Council (CNR) and Institute for Service Industry Research (IRAT), refers to a combination of institutions, activities and enterprises that collectively develop and deliver material inputs to the farming sector, produce primary commodities, and subsequently handle, process, transport, market and distribute food and other agro-based products to consumers.

Some of us may wonder, how is it different from agriculture and agribusiness? Why is it relevant?

To simplify the differences, agriculture is the science or practice of farming while agribusiness is agriculture steered on commercial principles through advanced technologies. Agro-food, on the other hand, is a type of business where food is produced through agriculture as opposed to hunting. These are also co-related, but learning the difference is a great way of understanding the importance of agro-food business.

Apart from the basic human needs like shelter and clothing which varies from different agencies and governments, food (including water) is the most important commodity in any country. This is the reason why research and development are constantly developed to produce high-quality food to provide necessary nutrients that our bodies need.

It’s a domino effect. If we consume food packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, it will give  us the energy to do more and be at our best. It will make us productive. Productivity produces a positive outcome that will result in a better and sustainable life.

This is how important Agro-food is. This is the heart of the business and the business with a heart.

Food scientists and researchers, as well as donors and leaders who are passionate about food security, are driven by their motivation to create better lives through food systems. Not only do they find ways to improve food quality, they also think about how it will be accessible to many and how it will create livelihood to thousands of people especially in the developing world. The compassion of these people together with the cooperation and assistance of various government agencies can make these things possible. It may be challenging because its broad scope, but it is never impossible as long as there are still people who wanted to make a difference. And this is why we can say that this is the heart of the business because people are driven by the cause and this is the business with a heart because of the impact that it has in any nation.

Through technological discoveries, farmers are advancing farming principles which sometimes include the use of pesticides or fertilizers that might be harmful to the environment.: we are able to sustain our needs but these cause bad effects to the environment. because these new innovations can ruin our environment, which in turn, will also endanger our lives, they defeat the noble purpose of having a better life.

More than ever, leaders have a responsibility to protect not only people but also the environment. The people, on the other hand, should not only depend on governments and institutions, but also on themselves. Across the globe, small initiatives are starting to act in a more selective way with the type of food that we should patronize because this industry depends on the demands of its consumers. Consumers liaise directly with farmers through small cooperatives.

Agro-food business could be optimized if we were more careful about new farming trends, innovation or practices that we are going to introduce to the market and the farmers. If we  keep in mind our purpose and our goal, which is sustaining food security in every nation in the world, I believe that a new direction, a better orientation that gives sense, can provide a better result: I believe we can married business people, major actors who are in the heart of the business if they are driven by their objective, higher than their roles or position, in other words :feeding the world and keeping it healthy.

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