Sunny Verghese told delegates at the Financial Times Commodities Global Summit that carbon needed to have a cost to users. "If something is free, we will use it indiscriminately," he said, the Financial Times reported.
Climate change is one of six challenges facing global agricultural businesses, along with food, water, energy security, sustainable economic growth, and poverty, Verghese said.
Olam has mapped its own global carbon footprint and knows the carbon dioxide emissions linked to the production of 1 tonne of almonds and 1 tonne of rice, the report said.
David MacLennan, chief executive of Cargill, told the conference that the current prolonged drought in California was a signpost that sustainability needs to become the "new normal", the Financial Times said.
Ed Davey, the UK’s secretary of state for energy and climate change said in September 2014 that every country in the world should commit to reducing carbon emissions "in a way that reflects their national situation".
Davey was speaking as the UK government published a new report setting out what it hoped to see from a potential global climate change deal, which is due to be finalised in Paris in 2015.