The World Economic Forum and Deloitte have prepared the report determining the Future of Global Food Systems: A Script examination in what the future global food system could be like; when in 2030 the population is 8,500 million people. To carry out the study, demographic trends have been used to consider that the population will increase in the coming years. Current data shows that average temperatures will continue to increase, as well as the manipulate of technology or migration.
Four possible stages with different characteristics are obtained from this analysis, which help us to imagine what could happen in the future and explore our opportunities to improve it.
- The first stage: It would be based on a survival of the richest, a world where market and consumption are not connected and there is a strong difference between those who have and those who do not. There is an increase of nationalist and isolationist policies, an increase and maintenance of difference, divergence, migration and environmental damage. According to the report, this situation would be reached due to independence and protectionist governments and a minimal concern for the environment. The consumption of less nutritious and sustainable food would worsen the situation of poverty. We can already observe some of these characteristics, such as increasing inequality, the increase in skinny people, research patents held by a minority.
- Second stage: There would be a strong connection of the markets and an intensive consumption of resources, which translates into a GDP growth and at the same time a high environmental cost. We would arrive at this stage thanks to the tolerance on the part of the governments before the market that would benefit the individuals in front of the groups. The current signs are, for example, the growing demand for beef, low food prices despite intensive use of resources, degradation of natural resources.
- Third stage: It raises a world in which the market would be connected and resources would be consumed efficiently, which would allow greater transparency in the markets promoted by policies. There would be greater flexibility of food systems, better access to nutritious foods and fewer hungry people. Consumers would use technology to improve their purchases and habits. Still there would be people outside the system, farmers who could not benefit from the technology. Companies and advertising would influence the demand of consumers who want healthier diets. The current signals can be observed in the new market control measures, greater market efficiency.
- Last stage: Consider that the local is the global. There would be connected markets but with an efficient use of resources, rich countries would base their expenditure on sustainable local food. Developed countries would appreciate local diets and take measures to reduce food waste. Healthy diets would be cheaper than unhealthy ones, and that would result in a decrease in diseases, such as fatness. Those affected in this stage would be those that depend on imports and industrial farmers who are not able to adjust their production to demand.
This development should promote a healthy and sustainable food system that avoids inequality. Inaction can lead us to the worst case situation. From the report it is proposed to take advantage of today’s opportunities, for which new policies and better use of technology are necessary. The food system has a central role in the well-being of the human being and the ecosystem. It aims to be broad, sustainable, efficient, and at the same time nutritious and healthy. All these features are interconnected, and complement each other.