Recap from Global Food Talk “Ensuring global food security – Innovative sustainable solutions as a lever”
In connection with World Food Day 2022, Food Nation hosted a Global Food Talk on October 27 with Arif Husain Chief Economist and Director of Research, Assessment and Monitoring at the United Nations World Food Programme as keynote speaker. The Global Food Talk focused on how we globally can ensure food security.
People around the globe share a common need for a safe, nutritious, and reliable supply of food. Conflict, instability and increasing climate variability and extremes are affecting agricultural productivity, food production and natural resources, with huge impacts on food systems and thus food security, nutrition, and health challenges. This Global Food Talk focused on how we can ensure efficient and sustainable food production where everyone, everywhere has regular access to enough nutritious and safe food.
Number of severely food insecure people are growing
The keynote speaker Mr. Arif Husain, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Assessment and Monitoring at the United Nations World Food Programme started out with explaining what challenges we are facing. Over the last 5 years we have seen numbers grow for chronic hunger – more than 800 million go hungry to bed today. We have seen people in chock because of natural disasters and war. Food inflation is more than 15% – not only in poor countries but also in rich countries. The dollar is strong, which means that the prices for poor countries importing food and paying back lows goes up. All this effect food insecurity. The number of severely food insecure people has doubled in just two years – from 135 million pre-pandemic to 276 during covid to 354 million today. Mr. Arif Husain highlighted the records of hunger being broken year after year which underlines how bad the situation is.
How to combat food insecurity?
One of Mr. Arif Husains final messages was, that it is a global problem which requires a global solution. All of us need to come together and implement the solutions. Countries having high dept, relying on importing food and fertilizer are especially countries we need to help. The good thing is that we know what the problem is, and we have the technology to fix agriculture and environment. In Mr. Husains opinion, to solve the food insecurity problem it requires one political will and staying with the problem until it is solved. We need to rethink agricultural and energy policies and doing that is not going to take one week or one month it will take years.
Better and stronger value chains across international borders
Jan Laustsen, Director for Trade, Markets and Nutrition, Danish Agriculture & Food Council
and Kinga Szabo Christensen, Advisory Director, Confederation of Danish Industry who participated in the first fireside session underlined the importance of establishing better and stronger value chains across international borders and to believe in cooperation and bringing communities together. This requires building up the skills of people all throughout the value chain and to bring local food production methods to where they are needed. Another highlight from the first fireside session was the importance of pushing confidence in investments. Especially circular technologies and digital technologies has a huge part in solving challenges related to food insecurity.
Find the “value pockets”
Morten Enggaard Rasmussen, Executive Vice President, Sustainability & Brand, Novozymes and Torben Funder-Kristensen, Head of Industry Affairs, Climate Solutions, Danfoss participated in the second fireside session. They both highlighted examples on how their industries support a sustainable value chain with solutions to optimise production, reduce water and energy, avoid food loss and waste, increase shelf life and heighten the quality of food. They explained it as finding the “value pockets” for farmers. Whether you are in India or Africa you have the ability in new ways to utilise the output from your farm and hence create more value. Furthermore, it was highlighted that as a company you cannot do it on your own, you need to create partnerships and have the political support on what will bring us further forward in ensuring food security for everyone, everywhere in the world.