Article | August 22, 2016

The effect of population growth on efficiency in food production

Source: TOMRA Sorting Solutions
The effect of population growth on efficiency in food production

By Ashley Hunter, senior vice-president and head of TOMRA Sorting Solutions, Food

The global population has been expanding rapidly for many years, standing at around 7.3 billion in 2016, due to a number of factors, such as advanced maternity and healthcare.

However, the rise brings with it a number of challenges around global sustainability, including the need for more food.

As an essential resource, the supply of food is a major concern across all countries, but - as with any resource - is dependent on growers, suppliers and distributors to bring it to market.

Exponential growth
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the global population is expected to increase by around 2.3 billion people between now and 2050. Although this is a slower rate of growth than the one seen over the past 40 years, it is still a 30 per cent increase in the number of people who will need feeding.

At the same time, the amount of food that will need to be processed will rise by almost 70 per cent – and 100 per cent in the developing world – which will mean increased supply of several products to help cope with the demand.

Earnings in developing countries are expected to rise along with the growth and exceed so-called ‘economic poverty’ levels, with the market demand for food continue to grow in line with this.