By Isaac Fletcher, contributing writer, Food Online
Global food security is one of the most important challenges facing the food industry, and industry leaders are working to find solutions through collaboration and innovation.
At Expo Milano 2015, food industry experts and leaders came together to share examples of rural and urban innovations that are part of addressing the global food security issue. The event showcased the unveiling of the DuPont-sponsored 2015 Global Food Security Index, which shows that great strides continually being made toward global food security. However, the index also showed new and continuing challenges in the Central and Eastern European regions resulting from political unrest and growing urbanization.
DuPont EVP, James C. Borel, headlined the forum and challenged industry leaders to keep extending the global food security conversation and make use of the Global Food Security Index to create new, targeted solutions to the global hunger issue. “As the global population increases, becomes more urbanized, and the middle class expands, we must properly focus resources to strengthen food systems and their resiliency,” argues Borel. “We have to look at the underlying issues — the key drivers that influence a person’s ability to eat. This is the power of the Global Food Security Index.”
According to Borel, some of the key areas that can greatly benefit from proper resources investment are: innovation for farmer productivity, enhancing nutrition of food, creation of fair and open trade policies, and the reduction of food waste.
The Expo also featured various leaders from the U.S. Department of State, Ford Motor Company, and global not-for-profits, all of whom shared their insights on how global food demands are shifting and the ways that their respective organizations are adapting to meet these new demands. In many situations, the way to improvement is from the ground up and organizations, such as Digital Green and CARE International, are teaching rural farmers better management techniques and ways to improve soil nutrition, among other things.
In addition to the Global Food Security Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) also presented a white paper regarding “The Role of Innovation in Meeting Food Security Challenges”, which identifies the challenges, key players, and important technological solutions related to global food security. According to the paper, there are three key areas of opportunity that can allow for a global increase in the accessibility of quality food: utilization of biotechnology, support for smallholder farmers, and the rise of urban agriculture.