Farm & Food 4.0
International Congress Berlin
Farm & Food 4.0

29. January 2020

True Cost Accounting for transparency and sustainability

Interview mit EOSTA’S CEO Volkert Engelsman

By Sarah Liebigt

True Cost Accounting calculates the hidden effects of food production on people and the planet. A conventionally produced product is much cheaper than an ecologically produced one, but its environmental impact is much greater. Not only must the price of products be higher, but the farmer must be rewarded by the Society for Nature Conservation. We spoke with Volkert Engelsman, the CEO of Eosta. The European trader of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, is committed to true cost accounting.

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Farm & Food: In what state do you see agriculture and food production in?

Volkert Engelsman: We are in the middle of a transition from cheap food to sustainable food. “Cheap” always sounds interesting, but if food is cheap at the expense of health and soil or water purity or biodiversity, then it is no longer cheap.

On the other hand, organic is not “too expensive”. Instead, conventional is too cheap, as long as we pass on costs to the environment or our health to future generations.

How can true cost accounting change this?

I think the first thing we have to do is overcome anonymity. No sustainability without transparency: If we know where the product comes from, where and how it was produced, what its impact is on soil, biodiversity or my health, then we moved one step forward.

Anyone who says that consumers are not interested in transparency is wrong. As citizens, they are very interested. The supermarkets and brand owners want us to believe that this does not affect us. I think that is nonsense.

What do you appreciate about Farm & Food, the conference?

I find the people very interesting, the congress audience is very diverse. This event has a high level of quality and knowledge.

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