Amidst challenges to the food chain such as urbanisation and food waste, supply chains and the sustainable use of resources need to be improved in order to feed the 9 billion people of the future, says Mr Jeff Haas, Global Head of Agriculture, Food & Beverage, Supply Chain & Commodities, Thomson Reuters
Mr Haas moderated a panel discussion entitled "How is Food Innovation Changing the Food & Beverage Industry?" at FIA's recent Annual General Meeting (AGM
) in Singapore.
Kicking off the discussion, Mr Haas provided an overview of the state of global food demand and production. The food chain is broken, he said. On paper, although we produce enough food to feed the world’s current population of 7 billion, an estimated 805 million people go to bed hungry each night. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that agricultural production must incrase by about 60 per cent within 33 years in order to feed the projected global population of 9 billion people by 2050.
Mr Haas added that agriculture is urbanising – at the moment, more than 50 per cent of the world’s population resides in cities; this is expected to increase by 80 percent by 2050. To sustainably feed these swelling urban populations, cities must become smarter and produce more food locally. Solutions such as vertical farming are already starting to take root, providing the potential for greater yield from less land.
Mr Haas opens the panel discussion on "How is Innovation Changing the Food & Beverage Industry?" during the 7th Annual General Meeting of Food Industry Asia on 25 April 2017 in Singapore.
Furthermore, food waste is a major issue facing the world today, Mr Haas said. About 30 per cent of the food we consume goes to waste. Food gets wasted, he added, in various stages of the supply chain – production, spoilage, shipping, distribution and storage. Therefore, there is a great opportunity to improve reduction of food waste, particularly in a globalised economy – not only in the area of food innovation, but in ways to improve the supply chain and how food is brought to the market as well.
Solutions to help fill 9 billion bowls by 2050, Mr Haas said, include food innovation focused on the future food landscape, the use of data, tailored nutrition, protein alternatives and plant-based progress.
FIA sat down with Mr Haas to learn more about how transparency, efficiency, viable use of resources and risk management in food supply chains can contribute to a sustainably food-secure future.
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