Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Dr. John Van Buren
As a society evolving and innovating at a pace faster than ever before seen in human history, we find ourselves at a crossroads of dealing with planetary boundaries and improving social standards. We are met with a crisis just thirty years away; the crisis of needing to be able to effectively and sustainably feed ten billion people across the globe. The 20th century brought on a booming age for industrializing the food system in order to increase yield and thus profit. The new process was a significant breakthrough at its time, but now we must face the question of when society might need another form of an agriculture shift. My aim for this thesis is to introduce how damaging our current food system operates and how altering current business strategies can lead to a healthier planet, healthier employees, and overall, more change in food corporations’ pockets. Chapter 1 discusses both the science and causes of the global climate crisis and how the agricultural system impacts the overall health of the Earth. Chapter 2 shows the rise of how the present-day industrial agriculture practices came to be and why dismantling them can be so challenging. Chapter 3 discusses how farmers play a significant role in this struggle yet have no say in change. Chapter 4 discusses the current temporary fixes of our food system through individual and grassroots based movements. Chapter 5 introduces sustainable business practices that can help efficiently solve the issues we face across the food supply chain that can alleviate and ultimately improve the agricultural level in actual action proposals. In this specific chapter, I highlight concrete solutions and steps to achieve a sustainable business change based on how people at the very top of the business can improve the conditions at their company’s lowest tier. Of course, society can shed immense light on these environmental and social issues, but with lack of company governance and strategy, there can be no change.
Mueller, Emily, "Farm to Boardroom: How Improving Farm Conditions Leads to Sustained and Ethical Profit" (2021). Student Theses 2015-Present. 107.