Projects & Industry Impact
To have a long-term healthy food system for the future, integrated and innovative methods and approaches from a range of disciplines must be implemented as well as effective inter-social policy analysis and multi-stakeholder engagement.
Most prominent issues regarding the food system include governance and economic food production. The food system doesn’t only involve the basic elements such as farming but also all the processes and infrastructure involved in supplying the population with food involving the economic, social, policy, and water systems.
Scarcity of Resources
The growing scarcity of land, water, and energy for food production is affecting our ability to produce food. Around 3.2 billion people live in agricultural areas with high to very high water shortages or scarcity, of which 1.2 billion live in severely water-constrained agricultural areas. Many of these are found in developing countries with serious implications for food security.
In the future, these issues will only become more serious. Projections suggest that there is enough water available globally to sustain the world by 2050, but since water is not equally distributed, an increasing number of countries will face increasing water scarcity, impacting rural livelihoods and food security.
An increasing population creates an increasing demand for food. This, in turn, results in an increased use of already limited land and water resources. Critical food insecurity impacts people's livelihoods. This makes tackling the root cause of the food crisis more urgent than ever.
It is estimated that, by 2050, the world food system will need to supply food for more than 9 billion people. For this, an increase in 50% in global food production will be required by 2050.
Overconsumption and food waste
Overconsumption and food waste create added pressure to the food system. 663 million people are undernourished on a global level. At the same time, in 2020 more than 2 billion adults (39% of the adult global population) were overweight.
In the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food is wasted annually with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros. While around 20% of the total food produced is lost or wasted, 36.2 million people cannot afford a quality meal every second day. On a global level, approximately a third of all food produced is lost or wasted.