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News ‘A shift to plant-based diets would create 19 million jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean’

Environment

Author: Maggie Published: August 28, 2020

Read the full article at Forbes 31/07/2020

It can be hard for us, as individuals, to imagine the bigger-picture impact our food choices can have, but that’s where research-based institutions come in ... And they’ve got some promising news about potential future job markets in Latin America.

The International Labour Organisation and the Inter-American Development Bank have previously published reports on how the world could feasibly get to net-zero carbon emissions, facilitated by robust ‘green’ job creation. This time around, they specifically honed in on Latin America and the Caribbean — identifying where jobs could be created in service of their net-zero emissions goals.

Turns out (!) investing in sustainable agriculture is one of the most impactful industry-shifts that can help the region achieve such goals. The study notes:

This collaborative effort is the first to document how shifting to healthier and more sustainable diets, which reduce meat consumption while increasing plant-based foods, would create jobs while reducing pressure on the region’s unique biodiversity.

Some benefits of switching to a plant-based diet are more obvious than others. Healthier diets, check. Lower carbon emissions, check. Millions of new jobs and preservation of the lush biodiversity of the Latin American countries?! Check, check. As noted in a recent Forbes article, decarbonisation of these economies would create 22.5 million jobs over the next ten years, a whopping “19 million of which would be in plant-based food production.”

Particularly at a time when economies are struggling and millions of people the world over have lost their jobs…Perhaps we should genuinely re-think what our new normal could look like — one that offers more jobs, less carbon emission, and all-round greater sustainability for our future.

And I’m not usually a betting gal, but I’d bet my last double chocolate brownie that this kind of industry shift would bring similar job-creating, carbon-lowering benefits to many other countries and regions, don’t you think?

Meet Maggie!

Maggie's passion for fresh, local produce began in the 90s when she first harvested the oranges in her backyard for a glass of fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice — though her Dad may remember the details of labour a little differently. Now she adds berries to her chocolate and sneaks pumpkin into brownies so she can confidently and incorrectly refer to them as health foods.