Over 60% of the ecosystem services on which we and much of the agricultural system rely are being degraded or overexploited (MEA 2005). Unpredictable weather, competition for land between biofuels and traditional crops and declines in soil fertility are severely impacting our agricultural system. The degradation of ecosystem services such as freshwater provision, climate regulation and soil fertility (see box 1) clearly has implications for the long-term viability of the businesses dependent on them, in particular those with agricultural supply chains. Increasingly this is translating to business risk and opportunity.
The Ecosystem Services Benchmark - Grigg, A., Cullen, Z., Foxall, J., Crosbie, L., Jamison, L. and Brito, R., Fauna & Flora International, United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and Fundação Getulio Vargas, 2009