Knowledge for better food systems

Afterres2050 scenario for the French food system

French non-profit Solagro has released an English version of this report, which presents the Afterres2050 scenario: a bottom-up assessment of the future of the French food system. The scenario was developed in consultation with farmers, foresters, nutritionists, community representatives, etc. as well as a multidisciplinary scientific council. 

The key features of the Afterres2050 scenario include:

  • A reduction in meat, milk and fish consumption, such that around 60% of protein in human diets comes from plants and 40% from animal products (compared to 61% from animal products now); higher consumption of cereals, legumes and nuts.
  • Widespread use of agroecological farming techniques, such as permanent soil cover, no ploughing, organic agriculture and agroforestry.
  • An increase in forest area and a stable area of natural permanent grasslands.
  • Decreased meat and milk production; more sheep; stable numbers of mixed bovine herds (i.e. producing both meat and milk); fewer specialised bovine herds, particularly those specialising in milk production; greater focus on grazing systems for cattle instead of feeding with concentrates.
  • A two- to three-fold reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, fertiliser use and water consumption by crops, through the spread of currently known best practices.
  • A three-fold increase in bioenergy production.

Read the full report, The Afterres2050 scenario 2016 version, here or here (PDF link). See also the Foodsource chapter How can we reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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