Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumption and production trends

16 October 2015

The FAO argues in its latest version of the State of Food and Agriculture report SOFA that expanding social protection offers a faster track to ending hunger, when combined with broader agricultural and rural development measures. It argues that the vast majority of rural poor remain uncovered by social protection (only about a third of the world's poorest people are covered by any form of social protection).  Thus, expanding social protection programmes – including cash transfers, school feeding and public works - in rural areas and linking them to inclusive agricultural growth policies would rapidly reduce the number of poor people.

16 October 2015

Growing affluence and increasing demands for meat in China, a country where meat consumption has already quadrupled since 1971, will place a very high pressure on agricultural production and trade both in China and globally says a new PwC report entitled China’s agricultural challenges – roads to be travelled.

9 October 2015

These TED talks examine the problems linked to what we eat and offer some solutions. Speakers include: Jamie Oliver, Mark Bittman, Louise Fresco, Tristram Stuart, and Graham Hill.

9 October 2015

This paper by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) suggests that as much as 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year.  The paper shows that the majority of the waste is produced mainly at the consumer stage. The waste issue adds another layer of pressure on fish stocks and the global seafood supply that are already seriously threatened by overfishing, climate change, pollution, habitat destruction and the use of fish for other purposes besides human consumption.

30 September 2015

This paper finds that increasing global demand for fish (due to increasing incomes and worldwide population growth) and developments in fishing methods together threaten to further increase pressure on the most popular fish types. It considers improvements in two areas that may decrease this pressure; increasing the production of farmed fish (aquaculture) and improving the effectiveness of fisheries management.

The authors assess how various scenarios of change would affect future wild stock status and simulate the stock development until the year 2048. Through different scenarios they outline ways that the fishery and aquaculture sectors might develop in the coming decades for four popular types of edible fish that are the most important for the world market;  sea bass, salmon, cod and tuna.

11 September 2015

A new paper published in Global Environmental Change analyses 50 years of data from FAO (from 1961 to 2011) to try to understand the drivers for global agricultural land use change. Pasture forms the largest component of agricultural land globally, but previous research on agricultural land use has focused disproportionately on the role of arable crops. 

11 September 2015

The demand for meat is expected to double by 2050. Projections indicate that expanding the livestock industry to meet this demand would exceed biophysical limitations, dangerously exacerbating climate change and biodiversity loss. This paper uses an anthropological approach to explore an alternative meat source that not only avoids livestock’s pitfalls, but targets introduced pest species that have a history of profound destruction within Australian ecosystems.

3 September 2015

This report is the result of the work of a Taskforce of academics, industry and policy experts commissioned to examine the resilience of the global food system to extreme weather. The summary report is built on three detailed reports: Climate and global production shocks (Annex A); Review of the responses to production shocks (Annex B) and the Country-level impacts of global grain production shocks (Annex C).

The report concludes that the global food system is vulnerable to production shocks caused by extreme weather, and that this risk is growing. It suggests that climate change and a growing population will increase the likelihood of food "shocks" - where the production of staple crops such as rice, wheat and soybean fall by 5-7%, arguing that it will triple in likelihood in just 25 years. The preliminary analysis of limited existing data suggests that the risk of a 1-in-100 year production shock is likely to increase to 1-in-30 or more by 2040.

3 September 2015

This study is the first to quantify the relationship between human population growth and energy use on an international scale. It explains how global population growth has begun, in the past 50 years, to catch up with energy consumption for the first time in 500 years.  Until that point, each generation had produced more energy per person than its predecessor, which allowed for an increase in Earth's carrying capacity and in the number of people it could sustain at equilibrium.

16 July 2015

This report from the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology summarises some emerging novel approaches in the food sector including controlled-environment farming, alternative animal feeds, edible insects, and lab-cultured meat.

Summary points are as follows:

26 June 2015

The Swedish environment and sustainability magazine Miljöaktuellt has carried out a survey of municipalities in Sweden which show that 4 out of 10 schools have implemented either a meat-free day a week or undertaken other activities that reduce meat consumption to an equivalent degree.  This number of participating schools represents an increase of 35% from the previous year.

12 June 2015

This report is produced as follow-on work to the Green Food Project, which focused on sustainable consumption and production. The Green Food Project report in July 2012 concluded that follow-on work was required to enable a broader and more sophisticated debate around the roles that diet and consumption play in the sustainability of the whole food system.

8 May 2015

A new green energy initiative has been launched by the Japanese meat processor NH Foods. Their Global Water Engineering (GWE) Cohral plant (in Australia)will extract green energy biogas from the waste water stream of production, replacing millions of dollars’ worth of natural gas currently consumed by the company factory.  It is reported that the effect of burning the methane will save the equivalent of 12,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to removing 2,700 cars from the road.

30 April 2015

In 2014, the FCRN released a major report entitled Appetite for change: social, economic and environmental transformations in China’s food system. This provided a detailed and integrative analysis of the dramatic changes in China’s food system over the last 35 years, explored emerging environmental, health, economic and cultural trends and challenges, and identified policy and research implications.  

19 April 2015

A new report from at Cranfield University suggests that increasing the production and consumption of frozen food in the UK can play a significant role in delivering the government’s 2020 and 2050 food security targets. The report, Frozen Food and Food Security in the UK, was produced by sustainability experts at Cranfield University on behalf of the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF).

26 March 2015

This short briefing for the Global Sustainable Development report 2015 by two researchers at IASS, Potsdam, discusses scientific findings on the sustainability of biomass production and their implications for Sustainability, Development Policy and the SDGs in particular.

26 February 2015

This paper, entitled Dietary quality among men and women in 187 countries in 1990 and 2010: a systematic assessment argues that although worldwide, consumption of healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables has improved during the past two decades, it has been outpaced in most regions by the increased intake of unhealthy foods such as processed meat and sweetened drinks.