Global efforts made towards food security and sustainable supply chains converged on the February 12 Economist Event themed “Feeding the world, Quality versus quantity: food and nutrition security for 9 billion”. Topics ranging from supply chains, nutrition and Western food waste to climate change and water supply were explored. Expert speakers from various backgrounds, such as the UN World Food Programme, the Fairtrade Foundation, the FAO and Wageningen University lectured, were interviewed, and held panel discussions. NewForesight consultant Sharon Hesp was present.
Special attention was paid to smallholder farmers. Of the 1.5 billion smallholder farmers that account for a large part of our food production, many live on less than 2 USD a day. To battle persisting poverty and meet the world’s increasing demand for food, new solutions are required that adapt to a changing reality. NewForesight works on system-changing projects that enhance food security. The technical facilitation of CocoaAction, a strategy that aligns the sustainability initiatives of eleven of the largest cocoa and chocolate companies in the world, is an example. Almost sixty percent of the world’s cocoa production comes from Ghana and Ivory Coast in West Africa. However, farms are past their peak productivity and farmers are growing older without young farmers entering the sector to replace them. Poverty is currently undermining the cocoa supply of the future and industry aligned to change this gloomy outlook.
NewForesight facilitates sustainable market transformations to realize a sustainable and food-secure future. Events such as this one are a way of connecting to the global efforts made toward food security and sustainable supply chains. The rising of the new Sustainable Development Goals demonstrate that now more than ever we need to join forces to meet the needs of the future and achieve a system-wide transformation towards sustainability.