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Sustainability and security of the global food supply chain

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Rabobank Group, Octubre de 2010

It is furthermore crucial to promote more sustainable consumer behaviour. All these developments will affect the current economic and business models and even the long-term strategies and market/competitive positions of companies in the global food supply chain.

The valuation of scarce natural resources will, sooner or later, be factored gradually into costing and companies’ balance sheets. The key message of this view is that new business opportunities will arise as part of the build-up to the internalisation of the new costs of resources.

Private sector companies in the global food supply chain should take the lead in eploring new opportunities and implementing them into their business models as a means of transforming supply chains into value chains. They should furthermore be at the vanguard of anticipating tomorrow’s global food & agribusinesses in order to meet the long-term food security challenge.

Governments in turn have a role to play in creating and facilitating the conditions for sustainable food systems and supervising the results. They are, after all, ultimately responsible for the food security of their countries. There is sufficient global potential to produce the food required to feed the world population that will total more than nine billion in 2050.

Global food shortages do not consequently constitute the foremost challenge for future food security. The main challenge instead involves working incrementally towards enhancing sustainability of the global food system. Achieving sustainability within the long global supply chain that encompasses different countries and numerous participants and stakeholders is, however, not an easy task. Moreover, there are numerous uncertainties and constraints and a number of sustainability drivers that must be tackled on time in order to produce the 70 percent more food that will be needed to feed the world in 2050. The local food supply chains of individual countries should be integrated into a smoothly operating global food supply system.

The global food trade needs price signals and rules in order to maintain stable global agricultural markets based on the future trends and outlook. Huge investments in current agriculture, especially in developing countries, are needed in order to meet the future needs for food.

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