Systems thinking is a critical guiding principle for an organization to comprehend the various potential vulnerabilities and challenges. Notably, the systems thinking approach will act as a guiding standpoint for A&B Company, an organization involved in selling fruits and vegetables. It will serve as a critical roadmap to developing an evaluation framework which is comprehensive for the systems of eco-agri-food. Significantly, multiple enviro-agri-food dimensions generate multifaceted policy and analytical encounters. Systems thinking model helps business institutions to view designs from a holistic perspective, which includes seeing the overall cycles, patterns, and structures in the scheme than focusing on the specific events (Meadows, 2008, p. 12). In addition, systems thinking allows restore forecasting and understanding of the policy decisions results by revealing how the structural mechanisms are intertwined and how the diverse change drivers are determined and subsequently impacted by non-linear relationships, delays, and feedback loops. Therefore, this paper makes a case for embracing systems thinking as a controlling principle for A&B Company’s Inclusive Assessment Framework development for the eco-agri-food system.
Several key factors lead to the demand for systems thinking within the internal functioning of A&B Company and other institutions in the same agricultural business. The agriculture and food systems are based on their yields, and much of the research concentrates on the approaches to increase productivity. However, there is a need to focus on natural resource management (NRM) and inequitable access to food and subsequent dietary safety. According to Clift et al. (2017, p. 279), the eco-agri-food systems are typically related to sustainability challenges despite being studied in isolation. Arguably, this isolation stands as the primary factor which causes failure in the food systems to deliver diets to healthy global populations. Therefore, the understanding and analysis of eco-agri-food systems and the sustainability problems is a significant factor which leads to poor diet foods provided to the consumers.
The environmentally mediated effects of food production are contributing to the regression of human health. Sun et al. (2019, p. 677) mention that the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides contributes to the worsening of people’s health trends. Arguably, there is inadequate data regarding the appropriate and most distinct application of different farm inputs, leading to poor production of the lowest quality diets. In addition, there is the inadequacy of organic inputs, which can boost soil fertility. Farmers are not embracing organic farming, but instead, they are using chemical fertilizers to promote their fruits and vegetables’ growth and development. Consequently, the results of this negligence are the production of foods with the lowest diet levels, hence affecting the consumer’s general health. Connectedly, environmentally meditated factors contribute to the production of vegetables and fruits, which are chemically contaminated, thus affecting the consumer population’s health.
The overemphasis on production has raised substantial expenses on human healthiness and subsequently led to inequality. Using the 2015 research, it becomes evident that most of the risk factors that drove diseases in the world were affiliated with diet (Sun et al., 2019, p. 671). On the one hand, there is a trend whereby the existing food schemes over-produce foodstuffs which have inadequate nutritious worth and even detrimental, such as soda and other-related sugary foods. The consumer-market wave yearns for more chunky foods reducing the market value of vegetables and fruits. On the other hand, there is an underproduction of beneficial foods, including vegetables and fruits. For instance, the high rates of fast-food advertisements attract different customers, who become regular ones to diverse companies and subsequently develop diseases such as obesity. The overproduction of foods with fewer nutritional components is attracting other customers who do not comprehend the foods’ effects. As a result, the fruits and vegetable producers lack the adequate market which can consume their products, leading to underproduction. Therefore, overemphasis on non-nutritive and overproduction of nutritive foods is contributing to the deterioration of the human health.
The issue of public health in the production line can critically be described in the system archetype context. The different factors mentioned above are depending on each other, in that, if one trend is perfected and performed effectively, then the whole organization will subsequently alter the entire system. For instance, in the production line, educating farmers to understand the prudence of using organic inputs in the planting and growth process will ensure that the foods produced are attractive and nourishing to the consumer. As a result, more people will develop a sense of belongingness, hence making vegetables and fruits farming a critical docket which earns farmers a huge fortune. Subsequently, the production rate will exponentially increase, considering that stakeholders in the entire production line will be motivated and enthusiastic about continuing to embrace organic farming. There is an intensive interconnectedness of the challenges within the multiple production channels, and hence, understanding one aspect will sequentially determine the production and eating of the vegetables and fruits. Holistically, it is essential to mention that public health in the fruits and vegetables production channel can sequentially be described in the archetype context.
There are various structures which underpin the issue of human health and production, and they are likely to influence system behavior. Through the systems thinking approach A&B Company will comprehend that the levels of population inequality are increasing globally. Notably, considering that the company delivers its products to retailers in different parts of the world, it must assess its performance and strategies to comprehend how to improve the production and effectively distribute vegetables and fruits of the highest quality to feed and satisfy the demands of the growing population in a way that embraces sustainability. As a result, a reflection develops that future policy decisions will gradually pit several economic development domains, human wellbeing, and ecological sustainability against each other, though this increasing intricacy cannot be a reason of indecision. The future population and quality needs influence the system behavior, in that the organization will strive to offer products which guarantee the consumer their well-being. Therefore, the company will educate the grassroots farmers on the best strategies to adapt to enhance the production of vegetables and fruits of the highest quality.
Multiple corporate practice and policy areas recognize the necessity of systems thinking and approach in solving the present interconnectedness of challenges. For instance, communities are moving towards more comprehensive system-thinking levels, focusing on issues such as malnutrition, hunger, and poverty (Fan, 2016, p. 1). The universal expansion administrations, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and World Bank, have already turned to concepts-based systems. Through evidence-based research, global non-governmental organizations have seen the importance of systems thinking in effective business management (Meadows, 2008, p. 52). The communal preservation is equally poignant in the same route. As a result, the existing challenges integration is declining, making it possible to attain global health due to healthy foods free of intoxication. The consumer needs to be ultimately protected from purchasing and eating vegetables, which can cause serious health problems by weakening their immunity and causing other retrogressive damages to the body, unknowingly. Presumedly, systems thinking is the best strategy to solve the existing health problem in the vegetables and fruit production processes.
In conclusion, the different components of the eco-agri-food scheme are codependent and remain undeniable. This research establishes its ground around this interconnectedness observation to make the systems thinking case a guiding principle for analyzing and conceptualizing the eco-agri-food design. A workable eco-agri-food strategy can be realized contingent on the effectiveness of the ecological, economic, and social dimensions. Consequently, the silo approaches limit the A&B’s potential to attain a holistic comprehension of the many challenges they face and their interconnected nature. Coherence and synergies can be obtained regarding the fruits and vegetables production structure when the evidence is engendered and subsequently used grounded on methods and concepts affiliated with systems thinking. Implementing the A&B eco-agri-food Evaluation Framework will help the business be in an improved place in the transformative progression to comprehend the whole externalities impacts, prices, and profits, specifically, on the good affected. The organization will subsequently identify the essential changes for an added stable progress approach. Above all, s rational system implemented for the eco-agri-food structure critically help build a joint ground for socio-cultural differences by endorsing more interdependent and cohesive practices.
Fan, S. (2016) ‘Food policy in 2015–2016: Reshaping the global food system for sustainable development’, in 2016 global food policy report. Washington: IFPRI, pp. 1−11.
Clift, R. et al. (2017) ‘The challenges of applying planetary boundaries as a basis for strategic decision-making in companies with global supply chains’, Sustainability, 9(2), 279.
Meadows, D. H. (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. Chelsea: Chelsea Green Publishing.
Sun, Y., Hu, R. and Zhang, C. (2019) ‘Does the adoption of complex fertilizers contribute to fertilizer overuse? Evidence from rice production in China’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 219, pp.677−685.