Feeding the World

Global demand for food is projected to increase by approximately 35% by 2030 as compared to 2012. If production does not keep up with growing demand, food could become the single most sought-after resource globally. Global markets could be destabilized, with prices high and volatile. Big opportunities for growth in this key industry are available to the agile organization.

What is changing?

Production

  • Our capacity to generate sufficient food, animal feed and energy is increasingly compromised by human population expansion,competition for land use, rapid biodiversity loss and predicted global climate change.
  • Increasing demand for bioenergy and biofuels will directly affect land availability for food production.
  • Pesticides will still play a major role in the improvement of future crop yields to secure food availability.
  • Crop productivity has been and will continue to be highly threatened by the presence of animal and microbial pests detrimental to plants.
  • The city of Fresno could feed all its residents year-round with localfood.
  • Increasing demand for bioenergy and biofuels will directly affectland availability for food production.

Growth

  • Global demand for food is projected to increase by approximately 35% by 2030 as compared to 2012.
  • The major growth of agricultural productivity is projected to be by driven by developing countries.
  • Hunger, food insecurity, and undernourishment are predicted to persist in the 21th century.
  • The loss of honeybee colonies in the US could drive food prices up.
  • The major growth of agricultural productivity is projected to be by driven by developing countries.
  • Some estimates indicate that as much as one-quarter of food waste in developing countries could be eliminated by increasing access to refrigeration equipment.

Innovation

  • There will be an increasing demand for innovative food products.
  • A smart fridge sending data on storage and usage of healthy food at home monitoring the consumption levels, refills, etc. could get health insurance discounts.
  • Using synthetic biology techniques will facilitate the development of additional improved strains for use in the production of other renewable fuels and chemicals.
  • New packaging solutions will focus more on food safety by controlling microbial growth.
  • The pressure on water, land, energy, and labor resources will necessitate innovation to enhance agriculture productivity.

Climate change

  • Climate change will increase the probability of the occurrence of natural vectors, which enable pests, pathogens as well as invasive species to invade new territories, potentially affecting agricultural production.
  • The main impacts of climate change on agriculture will most probably be experienced through temperatures extremes (increase in minima and maxima).
  • One 30-story vertical farm could produce enough food for more than 50,000 people.
  • Climate change poses a risk to crop production.
  • The online share of food will increase to 9.5% and to 32.1% for non-food items in 2018.
  • New packaging solutions will focus more on food safety by controlling microbial growth.
  • Plant diseases pose a major threat to global food security.
  • A growing proportion of employment within the food systems will be related to transport.
  • There are and will still be substantial differences in food consumption and food preparation across Europe in 2050.
  • The global average per capita food consumption per day is projected to increase by 24% and reach 3’070 kcal capita per day by 2050. Only SSA and South Asia will still have per capita consumptions <3’000 kcal per capita and day.
  • More than half of the world’s population (52% or 4.7 billion) will consume >3’000 kcal per capita and day by 2050.
Implications

Sustainability

  • New sustainable technologies will be needed for humanity just to stay even in the arms race against the microorganisms that can rapidly spoil the outputs of the modern food system.
  • Real policy coherence could provide a further push towards meeting the challenges associated with achieving a balanced, yet demand-driven and sustainable food system.
  • Recent food price spikes illustrate clearly the systemic risks associated with disruptions in major production regions and/or outbreaks of trade restrictions.
  • In a plausible worst case scenario where production does not keep up with growing demand, food could become the single most sought-after resource globally. Global markets could be destabilised, with prices high and volatile.
  • Food systems will need to rely on more sustainable production in the future.
  • Creating social and economic continuity between rural, semi-rural, urbanised areas and megacities will re-shape the concept of foodsecurity from “how to feed the poor” to “how to secure food supply” in answering new emerging demand (quantity, quality, type, processing and more).

Surprises

  • Migration will affect (local) food demand.
  • The potential for supply shortages or disruptions due to social considerations, including labor violations, child labor, fair wages, and food shortages, present further risk to a company’s long-term ability to source key materials and ingredients.

Learn more
Find the sources and more resources on Shaping Tomorrow ‘Feeding the world‘ some of which were used in this Trend Alert, or ask us for our ready-made and free, in-depth PowerPoint report or more detailedGIST briefing on this or any other topic of interest to you. Also, click here to find out how Shaping Tomorrow can help your organization rapidly assess and respond to these and other key issues affecting your business.

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