Food Security: A New Vision

August 2021

Food security has always been on the agenda of governments as a long-term goal, but recent challenges have escalated its priority even in countries that have been historically regarded as food secure. Private and government sectors have joined forces to find actionable steps in order to maintain a steady flow of food. Throughout this report, we investigate short- and long-term implications of food insecurity, as well as showcase current best practices and the way forward.

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Key findings

Food security a challenge that resurfaced as a key priority

There are long-standing issues that are putting pressures on food security globally. High population growth in regions such as Middle East and African nations coupled with rising food prices threaten food availability and consumer access to healthy nutrition on a regular basis. Limited and even shrinking resources such as water and land question the sustainability of traditional methods of agriculture.

Coronavirus has exposed vulnerabilities, yet also opportunities

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made these existing issues more apparent, and many countries consider food security of greater urgency for continued sustenance of their citizens. Improvements to import versus local production ratios, access to the variety of sources and raw materials, and supply chain routes are explored through greater synergies between both public and private sectors.

Governments and corporations escalate strategies to achieve food security

Localisation is important to shorten the supply chain and reduce import dependency, through this also aligns with rising consumer interest in food provenance. Diversification is also another goal for nations and companies to spread out risk. At the same time, sustainability has become more important for agriculture in order to maintain the health of resources such as land.

Digital transformation will be a key enabler in food security

Future strategies that will help to sustain the food ecosystem for the long term depend on digital transformation throughout the supply chain. Developments in agri-tech and production are integral in ensuring that the raw supply chain of food is sustainable and can be adopted by countries despite resource limitations such as land area. Transparency will also further boost the resilience of the ecosystem.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

The Food Security Challenge

Four parameters of food security
Population pressures on both emerging and developed markets
Rising food prices restrict food and nutrition access
Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa: food access is top priority
Limited resources put countries at risk
Effects of climate change escalate urgency for a solution

The Coronavirus Effect

COVID-19 has elevated concerns on pressing issues
High import dependency caused disrupted international food trade …
…and heightened concerns of food provenance
Lack of alternative raw material sources raises supply chain sensitivity…
…giving importance to innovation, enabling domestic production
Limited supply chain routes make companies vulnerable…
…as exposed by the Suez Canal blocked by a vessel grounding
Synergy between stakeholders is an ongoing effort…
…that can lead to solutions and development from start-ups

Reconstructing a Secure Food Ecosystem

Tying strategies to all aspects of the food ecosystem is essential
International players consider localisation key to sustainable supply
Saudi government seeks to curb reliance on meat imports
Diversifying sources is a priority for both companies and markets
Efforts made to diversify ingredients used in local, staple food
Ethical certifications and programmes to promote sustainable food
Sustainably-sourced packaged food will be led by organic labels

Digital Transformation the Way Forward

Glimpse of key technology shaping future of food ecosystem
Efficient production: smart indoor gardening for consumers
Agri-tech: hydroponic farms improve UAE’s food security ranking
Traceability: OneAgrix - a B2B platform to manage food surplus
Key developments across all parameters for a secure food ecosystem

Appendix

Appendix
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