Meat&Poultry - October 2011 - (Page 8)

Commentary BY KEITH NUNES Cause for concern It is estimated by the United Nations that the world’s urban population will double between the years 2000 and 2030. In that time, while cities and populations around the world grow, the amount of fresh water available for consumption as well as domestic and industrial use will not expand. It is further predicted that if little is done to alter this situation, global demand for fresh water may outstrip supply by as much as 40 percent by 2030, putting food security at risk. Such a prospect makes fresh water availability one of the most pressing issues facing the world. Availability and the likely future cost of water were frequent topics of discussion during the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Executive Conference, which was held in late August at The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Executive Conference is an annual, invitation-only event that draws leaders of the major consumer packaged goods companies. It is an event where the topics of discussion, both formal and informal, tend to be on the horizon because those in attendance are charged with developing the long-term strategies guiding their companies. Noted several times during the conference was the drought that is taking its toll in Oklahoma and Texas. The current catastrophe provides a stark example of the issues that municipalities, consumers and businesses face at times when fresh water resources are low and mandatory conservation programs are considered. The challenges the water availability issue presents to business leaders are twofold. First, they must work together to lobby political leadership, both local and national, to take the issue of fresh water availability seriously, avoiding the urge to do what is common these days and “kick the can down the road.” Second, executives must lead by example through the development of water-saving and conservation programs within their companies. In its Infrastructure Report Card, which is published every other year and last issued in 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the US drinking water system a grade of “D-.” The group noted that US drinking water systems, both urban and rural, face “staggering” needs over the next 20 years, and that its analysis did not account for any growth in the demand for drinking water in the next 20 years. The current focus on austerity in Washington, DC, holds little hope that major infrastructure issues, even those as critical as fresh water availability, will be addressed in the near future. And given the fiscal situation of many states and local municipalities, it is difficult to imagine many being able to undertake any significant projects without some form of federal support. Where the food and beverage industry provides exemplary leadership is in the area of reduced usage and conservation. The increasing focus by companies on sustainability has allowed many to lower water usage while improving operating efficiencies. One leader in this area is Nestle, which was given the Stockholm Industry Water Award last month during World Water Week. The company earned the honor for its global focus on water management issues. In his acceptance speech, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestle, said that a significant problem surrounding water usage and conservation is its value. He noted that every other raw material, from oil to corn, has a value that is based on demand versus available supply. “Why are we not willing to give the slightest value to most of the water being used by our different commercial activities?” he asked. As the issue of fresh water availability becomes daunting and increasingly urgent, the cost of water will surely rise. Prudent companies, like those represented at the GMA Executive Conference, will prepare for that day by putting efficiency programs in place that will hopefully compensate for water’s eventual rise in value. ■ We would like to hear from you – to comment on this story or to request reprints, contact us by email at EDITORIAL STAFF Editor Joel Crews Executive Editor Keith Nunes Senior Editor Bryan Salvage Managing Editor Kimberlie Clyma Contributing Editors Richard Alaniz Dr. Temple Grandin Jerry Karczewski Leo Quigley Larry Aylward Steve Kay Steve Krut Bernard Shire Online Editor Erica Shaffer Graphic Designer Mike Gunther PUBLISHING STAFF Chairman and Group Publisher Charles S. Sosland Vice-Chairman L. Joshua Sosland President, Publishing Director Mark Sabo Publisher Dave Crost North American Sales Director Bruce Brown Publisher Emeritus Mike Alaimo BUSINESS/PRODUCTION STAFF Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer Melanie Hepperly Audience Development Director Don Keating Director of E-Business Jon Hall Director of On-line Advertising and Promotions Carrie Fluegge Circulation Manager Judy Arnone Design Services Manager Sadowna Conarroe Manager of Advertising Design Becky White Classified Sales Representative Lily O’Kane Classified Designer Steve Piatt Digital Systems Analyst Marj Potts Advertising Manager Nora Wages Advertising Materials Coordinator Sharon Alexander Sales: Editorial: Address editorial correspondence to: Editor, Meat&Poultry, 4800 Main Street, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64112. Phone: (816) 756-1000 Fax: (816) 756-0494 Letters via email can be sent to meatpoultry@ Letters may also be sent via fax to (816) 756-0494. The Editor reserves the right to edit letters for length, content and clarity. Requests for reprints of articles should be sent to or call Taré Torres at (816) 756-1000. Sosland Publishing Co., a division of Sosland Companies, Inc. 8 • Meat&Poultry • October 2011 •

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat&Poultry - October 2011

Meat&Poultry - October 2011
Commentary - Cause for concern
Business Notes
WRIGHT BRAND BACON - Wright can’t go wrong
WRIGHT BRAND BACON - Recloseable challenges
Versatile Protein - Bacon’s on fi re!
Education - Training for tomorrow
Small Business Matters - From dream to reality
Jerky Processing - Perfect pairing
Meat Processing Operations & Engineering - The Phoenix rises
Meat Processing Operations & Engineering - Pest patrol
From the Corral - Slaughter without stunning
Names in the News
New Product Showcase
Classified Advertising
The Insider

Meat&Poultry - October 2011