Foresight food security: From hunger and poverty to food system approach

August 18, 2015, European Commission Joint Research Centre
By 2030 and beyond, food security will increasingly be considered as securing food supply in response to changing and growing global demand. © EU, 2015

Long considered in relation to malnutrition and humanitarian aid, food security policy should be moving towards a much broader landscape and focusing on regular access to food for a population nearing nine billion towards 2030-2050, while addressing food insecurity for a fraction of communities, according to a JRC foresight report.

Due to a growing population, climate change, limiting expansion of agricultural land and increasing demand of high-energy food input, achieving global food security will be one of the most critical challenges in the coming years. Traditionally the debate on food security has focused on production and agricultural aspects, as well as hunger, poverty and humanitarian aspects. Instead with this foresight study, the JRC proposes to go further and move towards a more comprehensive and systemic approach to explore this complex issue.

By 2030 and beyond, food security will increasingly be considered as securing in response to changing and growing global demand. Food security is not only a global and systemic challenge, but also an opportunity for the EU to play a role in innovation, trade, health, wealth generation and geopolitics. Better coordination and coherence at EU level are necessary in order to move from a food-security to a food-systems approach.

The JRC foresight on global food security brought together the European Commission, external experts and stakeholders to develop a vision for in 2030. The approach foresees a significant reduction in the relative number of undernourished people. Food security will be guaranteed on a sustainable base through four processes: extensive transformation of agriculture production systems through investment, research and training; adequate rural transformation; balancing of production and consumption in the food systems between local, regional and global levels, and finally, moving towards a demand-driven system, with responsible consumer behaviour shaping sustainable objectives.

Explore further: JRC thematic report: Science for food

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