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Metropolitan Food Security

The MFS Challenge

Within 50 years, the world has to produce twice as much food with half the resources.


'Food Security' in metropolitan areas is placed under pressure
Estimates of the UN indicate that 70% of the world population will live in urban areas by the year 2050. In the same period, the middle class (consumers of processed food) in for example BRIC countries will rise at a very fast pace. The middle class in India will rise from 5% in 2007 to 40% in 2030. These developments place high pressure on food safety and food security. This demands sustainable, efficient and technologically advanced food chains. Already today, the following developments can be noticed:

-  the larger part of food is not produced or processed in the viscinity of an urban area.
-  only 63% of the world population has access to clean drinking water.
-  insufficient knowledge and capacity is available to produce quality food in large quantities.
-  much of the produced foods do not reach the final consumer due to lack of a good infrastructure.


Demographic developments offer opportunities for business
The fast growth of the urban population causes limitations for large urban areas. There is a lack of knowledge and capactiy to produce safe food in large quantities, ensure sufficient clean drinking water or secure a sustainable living environment. Governmens are confronted with the risks of public unrest that can be caused by the lack of (affordable) food.

In the next 50 years, the world has to become able to produce twice the amount of food with half of the resources it currently uses. This creates an urgent demand for knowledge, technology and services in sectors in which the Netherlands traditionally plays a leading and world renown role. It is important to react to the challenge in a timely manner and make efficient use of existing technolgies and networks. This can only be achieved by intensive cooperation, not only amongst companies but also between companies, knowledge institutions and representatives of government.


The Challenge (by FAO)
The food security challenge is perfectly described by
 the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO):

“The key is to strengthen each and every link in the complex process of food reaching the consumer - from the way it is grown or raised, to how it is collected, processed, packaged, sold and consumed. One weak link can mean the whole food chain collapsing. Stakeholders include farmers, fishermen, slaughterhouse operators, food processors, transport operators, distributors (both retail and wholesale) and consumers, as well as governments obliged to protect public health.”

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