Purchasing Consumers pay for their food four times over First in the su permarket where it s pretty cheap Second when the envi ronmental damage caused by food production has to be re paired Like here in Germany where a lot of money will need to be invested in the cleanliness and quality of our drinking water in the foreseeable future because it has been polluted by intensive agriculture The consumer then pays a third time through health insurance premiums to cover the costs of poor nutrition And fourth we pay as a society as flawed agricultur al policy depopulates rural regions in this country and turns small farmers into refugees across the globe When we add it all together cheap food turns out to be quite expensive after all And on the flip side when the price is cal culated correctly organic products are not as much more ex pensive as is often claimed because there are no hidden costs for nature and human beings The existing standards for cost calculation and accounting in clude neither positive nor negative impacts of the food indus try on people and the environment And they also leave out the ways that the food and agriculture sectors depend on natural resources Biodiversity climate soil and water in particular are crucial for the short term medium term and above all long term sustainability of the food industry Which is why audit firms insurers and banks are cur rently developing approaches for monitor ing and assessing these economic risks There is no uniform standard how ever that would support and le gally enshrine financial incen True cost Paying the actual price tives linked to the implementation of better agricultural prac tices True Cost from costs to benefit in food and farming is an initiative launched by several market leaders in the food and agriculture sectors who are collaborating with auditors and insurance companies to develop an integrated standard of cost calculation and accounting Lebensbaum is part of this newly founded True Cost initiative In the run up to the pro gramme we launched a pilot project in which true cost cal culations were conducted with four of our cultivation part ners by Soil More Impacts a company specialising in this area The aim was to find out how the cost calculation would change when the positive and negative ecological and health impacts of our partners cultivation methods were included All four cultivation partners had good reason to be pleased with the results The positive environmental and health effects of their organic or biodynamic farming methods outweighed any negative impacts FROM COSTS TO BENEFIT IN FOOD FARMING TRUE COST

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