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Food is essential for our survival, a fundamental requirement of life and the provider of strength, vitality and energy. It is also the keeper of our cultural traditions and indispensable to our social lives – think of any celebration and it will involve food. To mend our damaged relationship with food, there are critical questions we need to answer: how do we produce sufficient food that’s healthy for both the people who produce it and the people who eat it? How do we ensure our food systems are fair, resilient and equitable? How can we feed our growing global population and protect our planet for generations to come?
Building stronger local and circular food systems helps to keep valuable natural resources, minerals and nutrients in the loop. Circular agribusinesses not only provide excellent environmental solutions, they also create jobs and reduce countries’ dependency on imports. As the world’s population continues to grow, more people than ever will depend upon farmers for food. We must empower farmers to drive solutions and be at the forefront of a global regenerative revolution by making them an integral part of policy discussions. They can help build the system of products and services that are locally relevant and reduce dependency on patented and/or chemical inputs.
The long-term goal of food sustainability is to produce enough food to maintain the human population. The intrinsic factors to guarantee a sustainable food system are a fertile land, water, fertilizers, a stable climate, and energy. However, as the world population grows, the volume of food needed in the future will not depend just on these intrinsic factors, but on human choices. This paper analyses some of the human actions that may affect the sustainable future of the food supply chain, including diet, obesity, food miles, food waste, and genetically modified organisms.
Regardless of definitions and beliefs, food sustainability is about generating food at a productivity level that is enough to maintain the human population. Sustainable food production is fundamentally grounded on the availability of fertile land, water, nutrients, and an adequate climate. In addition, the volume of food needed to feed humans is linked to intended or unintended human behaviour. This paper analyses some population attitudes and choices that have an impact on both the volume of food needed and the environmental impact to produce it. As the world’s population continues to grow, more people than ever will depend upon farmers for food. We must empower farmers to drive solutions and be at the forefront of a global regenerative revolution by making them an integral part of policy discussions. They can help build the system of products and services that are locally relevant and reduce dependency on patented and/or chemical inputs.
Another consideration is seasonality. In this day and age, especially in developed countries, and as a result of low-cost transportation and logistics, most food products are available all year round. Due to their short shelf life, fruit and vegetables are in most cases transported by plane with the associated environmental impact. On average, the operational energy of a long-haul cargo plane, expressed in MJ/metric ton-km, is around four times more than a truck and 30 times more than a train. Building stronger local and circular food systems helps to keep valuable natural resources, minerals and nutrients in the loop. Circular agribusinesses not only provide excellent environmental solutions, they also create jobs and reduce countries’ dependency on imports.

Though we’re hopeful for the future, we are quickly running out of time. We urgently need to remove the barriers that prevent us from transforming the way we produce and consume food. This involves changing mind sets, trying new things and learning fast. Together, we can work towards a food system that not only feeds us but also celebrates life – one that nurtures people, adds colour and flavour to our plates and palates and, most importantly, ensures a future for ourselves on this planet.

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