To the almost 1 billion undernourished we must add the fact that, each year, our planet’s population increases by about 74 million people. From 7 billion in 2011, population will reach 8.3 billion in 2030 and, by 2050, the number will be 9,1 billion, according to the UN Population Division.
There is enough food todayAdding up the numbers of today’s global food production tells a positive story – that there is more than enough food produced to provide every person on the planet with an adequate diet. The edible crop harvest in the world is more than 4600 kcal per every person per day.8 However a lot of the food gets lost after harvesting, in use as fodder and in waste (see box). Available food per person increased almost 18.6 percent be- tween the mid-1960s and 2007, to 2796 kcal9 per day per person (latest figures avail- able as of October 2011), which meets the needs of an average adult man.
Now is the time for actionBy Paul PolmanIs it because the warning bells ring so loudly that no one seems to hear them? What with elections and the euro crisis, there are plenty of distractions.2013: THE NEXT FOOD CRISIS? NO SURPLUS: IN 6 OF PAST 11 YEARS FOOD CONSUMPTION HAS EXCEDED PRODUCTION FOOD RESERVES ARE “DANGEROUSLY LOW” WHEAT & MAIZE PRICES CLOSE TO HEIGHTS OF 2008 WHEN FOOD RIOTS HIT 25+ NATIONSBut there will be 200,000 more mouths to feed around the world tomorrow – literally. There has been a 20 per cent drop in wheat yields in the US this year. The EU harvest is down by 6m tonnes – in Russia and Ukraine it will be reduced by more than 35m. The FAO predicts global wheat supply in 2012-13 will fall to 661m tons. Consumption stands at 688m tons.The world is entering an era of permanent food crisis, likely accompanied by political unrest, and will require radical reform of the international food system…prices of staples such as maize could rise by as much as 180% by 2030, with half due to the impacts of climate change.
Every day, 16,000 children die of malnutrition and hunger-related diseases. FAO
The Copenhagen Consensus concluded that an investment in fighting malnutrition would benefit people more than any other type of investment – with a return of $30 for every $1 invested. And the World Bank found that an investment in nutrition can translate to a 2-3 per cent increase in a nation’s GDP each year, breaking the cycle of poverty that traps families and nations. Polman FT
. Governments and businesses need to direct investment towards strengthening whole value chains and improving support for smallholder farmers, particularly women. In the developing world, they make up 43 per cent of farmers – rising to 50 per cent in eastern Asia and 80 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa – but they have less access to the land, water rights, finance and education that could increase productivity. Aiding smallholder farmers is one of the most efficient ways of alleviating poverty, which makes it even more critical.
Mars Cacao Genome Project
A 'circular economy' (CE) is an approach that would transform the function of resources in the economy. Waste from factories would become a valuable input to another process - and products could be repaired, reused or upgraded instead of thrown away. Today, the recycling of many materials does not occur because it is uneconomical relative to the production of virgin material. With incentives that encourage careful planning all the way from the product design stage to the consumer, the economics of recovery and reuse could be transformed.
Pressure on the world’s resources is intensifying. Increased competition for these resources has been compounded by the effects of severe weather conditions. Since 2000, food prices have more than doubled because of soaring demand, with desertification, floods and drought adding significant volatility to the trend of food price inflation. To make matters worse, it is countries with already high rates of malnutrition that tend to be worst hit. People in Chad, Ethiopia and Angola spend up to 60 per cent of their weekly budget on food – much of it imported. The most vulnerable are hit the hardest by price rises.
Fast acceleration on record – doubled between June 2007 and January 2008Why same effect world wide? Addis Ababa grain markets – on computerNow volatility
This will need collective international leadership. Future G8 and G20 presidencies must keep agriculture centre stage. The UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Goals – of which I am a member – also gives us a unique opportunity to cement meaningful international targets to support agricultural development
In recent years the world has come to understand the impact of undernutrition. The UN Secretary-General is leading the way. And has be joined by leaders from countries, civil society, donors and business. It is now understood that under-nutrition affects all of us:The impact of under-nutrition is not just felt by the individual: it affects families and communities, impacting on a whole nation’s future, decreasing its GDP by up to 3%.It’s effects are intergenerational - the cause of poverty – as well as the resultIt affects our future and the future of our children.Addressing under-nutrition is everybody’s businessUnder-nutrition is linked directly to more than one third of child deaths each yearThe number of children who suffer from under-nutrition in the form of stunting stands at 165 million or 26% of the global under-five population.- These children will not grow to meet their full height potential- They will not be able to concentrate in school and will perform less well - They will earn less as adults – up to 17% reduction in their lifetime earningsOther forms of under-nutrition also affect large numbers of people- 52 million children under-five years are wasted – too thin as a result of acute malnutrition- 2 billion people are deficient in key vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A, iodine, iron, and zinc.- 43 million children under five years are overweight and the number is rising. Overweight can result from poverty when families are unable to afford a balanced, nutritious diet.- The vast majority of under-nourished children live in Africa and Asia.Nutrition is a human right and everyone has a right to good nutrition
22nd Annual Martin J. Forman Memorial Lecture
REFLECTIONS ONA FOOD +NUTRITIONPARADIGM FORTHE 21 ST CENTURY22nd AnnualMartin J. FormanMemorial LectureDecember 4, 2012JOSETTE SHEERAN
WHAT IS OUR TARGET?“Food and nutrition security exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to food, which isconsumed in sufficient quantity and quality to meet their dietary needs and food preferences, and is supported by an environment of adequate sanitation, health services and care, allowing for a living healthy and active life.”*Committee on World Food Security
There is more than enough food today The edible crop harvest in the world is more than 4600 kcal per every person per day. Even after loss, waste, and YET: food use as fodder there is more than 2700 kcal per day per person. Penn State
HUNGER NUMBERS HAVE NOT SHIFTED SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE 1969 : FAO
IS IT BECAUSE THE WARNING BELLS RING SO LOUDLY SEEMS TO HEAR THEM? Paul Polman, CEO, UNILEVER Financial Times, November 21, 2012
THE 10 IMPERATIVES OF HUNGER1. PRIORITIZE URGENT NUTRITION AID TO PREGNANT WOMEN AND YOUNG CHILDREN2. VIEW HUNGER AS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT A PROBLEM: CREATE WIN-WIN OPPORTUNITIES FROM FARM TO FORK3. REVISE SUBSIDY AND POLICY MODELS DESIGNED FOR POST-WORLD WARII + POST- INDEPENDENCE4. URGENTLY ADDRESS MASSIVE POLICY GAPS IN DEVELOPING WORLD ON LAND + INVESTMENT5. SCALE UP WHAT WORKS: PUT $ BEHIND PROVEN MODELS THAT BUILD RESILIENCY6. PROMOTE DIVERSE SOLUTIONS: END THE WAR BETWEEN LARGE SCALE AND SMALL SCALE AGRICULTURE7. RADICALLY REDUCE WASTE FROM FARM TO FORK8. DEPLOY INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES: CLOSE THE WATER, YIELD, STORAGE, PROCESSING GAPS9. LEADERSHIP: THE G-8, G-20 MUST INCLUDE FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY
REMEMBER: THIS BATTLE IS ‘WINNABLE’BUT: AVOIDING THE ‘FOOD CLIFF’ REQUIRES A PARADIGM SHIFT