Food Systems

Food Systems

La seguridad alimentaria es garantizar de forma sostenible una nutrición saludable a una creciente población que alcanzará los 10 mil millones de personas en 2050. Aqui hablamos de los retos a los que se enfrenta.

In preparation for the trend “Food of the Future”, the FTF team discussed with hundreds of experts in order to identify the most important challenges that have critical impact on our current food system. These are the challenges:

  1. Food security
  2. Health and nutrition
  3. Resilience and sustainability
  4. Food technologies
  5. Leadership

The experts’ talks revolved around these five axes. All in all, they painted the full picture of the current food system and diets, and pointed at potential paths to change.

Food Security

For  Roberto Ridolfi, Assistant Director General at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the future of food is necessarily linked to the food system sustainability, and specifically aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly focusing on SDG #2zero hunger, and SDG #12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

The future of food is one and only one: sustainable food systems ” R. Ridolfi

According to Ridolfi, food security is the goal we must pursue, and it is only achieved when “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food in order to meet their dietary needs and preferences so as to lead an active, healthy life”. Moreover, if it is done sustainably, we would be taking a real step forward towards a Sustainable Food System.

Ridolfi affirms that actions should pivot around the following axis in order to design a sustainable food system:

  • Economic impact – Prosperity
  • Social impact – People.
  • Environmental impact – Planet.

The following will play a very important role in the transformation of food systems going forward:

  • The power of traditions and cultural practices, as is the case in the Mediterranean.
  • Consumers’ behaviors: issues such as honesty, authenticity and the correct food labelling will have impact on trust.

Cost of Biodiversity

Biodiversity is essential for life: our planet and the economy depend on it and on ecosystems, which provide us with food, health, drugs, materials, leisure and wellbeing. Half of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that is, some €40 trillion, depend on it.

Unsustainable human activities are irreversibly destroying the planet’s biodiversity: the global population of wild species has been reduced by 60% over the last 40 years, and close to one million species are on the brink of extinction.

The biodiversity loss and the climate crisis are interconnected and feed on each other.  The European Union is already working on a strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change before 2030.

According to the IMF, the value of biodiversity accounts for 60% of the world’s GDP. Destroying it should bear considerable social and economic cost. Ridolfi would like to define a new concept of sustainability-based economy, one that includes the “natural capital“, that is, the environmental cost of the food we eat.

Just as the Kyoto Protocol gave way to the carbon credits, the FTF experts all agree that it is time to create the environmental sustainability and biodiversity credits, which should use a similar assessment system as the carbon footprint—rewarding, punishing or demanding economic compensation, depending on the impact produced.

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