Food is essential to life. It also forms an important part of our cultural identity, and plays an important role in the economy. Many of today´s food production systems compromise the capacity of Earth to produce food in the future. Globally, and in many regions including Europe, food production is exceeding environmental limits or is close to doing so. Nitrogen synthesis exceeds the planetary boundary by factor of four and phosphorus use has reached the planetary boundary. Land use change and land degradation, and the dependence on fossil energy contribute about one- fourth of Greenhouse Gas emissions. Agriculture, including fisheries, is the single largest driver of biodiversity loss. Regionally, water extracted by irrigation exceeds the replenishment of the resource.
Price volatility, access restrictions and the interconnectedness of global commodity markets, as well as the increasing vulnerability of food production systems to climate change and loss of agro-biodiversity, will make food even more inaccessible for the poor in the future.
What drives our food system?
- Global trends in population and affluence
- Food prices / volatility / availability
- Changes in diet
- Food waste
- Changes in the supply chain
- Biodiversity loss
How can we move towards a more resource efficient and sustainable food system?
- Better technical knowledge on the environmental impacts of food
- Stimulating sustainable food production
- Promoting sustainable food consumption
- Reducing food waste and losses
- Improving food policy coherence