British retailers had a reputation for being world leaders and needed to burnish those leadership skills to help secure the long-term future for food production, he said.
Speaking at the IGD annual convention in London, Kendall said retailers should partner producers to tackle the challenges of climate change and population booms.
"We are part of a British food industry that delivers £80bn of gross added value, represents 3.6 million jobs, and is the biggest industry in our manufacturing sector. But the global challenges we face - climate change, water depletion and population growth - are enormous. Security of supply is going to be a critical factor.
"British retailers are seen as world leaders and I want you to show leadership now by develop-ing a sustainable supply chain, delivering stable and secure food supplies."
Earlier last week, Kendall told a House of Commons conference on science that the retail community needed to ensure it had a sustainable supply of food and then help invest in research programmes to formulate a long-term plan.
"The developed world has been overtaken by the developing world in total R&D spending. We used to export solutions and still have world-beating scientists," he said.