A recent report by Forum for the Future and FrieslandCampina has shown that businesses, governments and civil society need to forge trust, find alignment and foster collaboration and coordination to secure the future of food and nutrition.
The report, “Addressing food and nutrition security through partnerships and strong business leadership”, was released at a time when food systems in Southeast Asia hang in delicate balance.
By 2030, the world needs to produce 50% more food for a rapidly growing population with a shrinking agricultural workforce and depleting natural resources, while more than 60 million people shall join the consuming class in the countries of ASEAN in the next five years.
The report is based on a May 2015 roundtable hosted by FrieslandCampina and its partner, Forum for the Future, which included representation from the entire food value chain, including agri-food multinational companies, crop producers, financial institutions, retailers, academia, nutritionists, and international and non-governmental organizations, as well as non-traditional stakeholders such as logistics and packaging companies.
The roundtable identified four key areas where businesses can and are already acting on food and nutrition security that can be scaled up.
Agricultural sustainability – Enabling sustainable production with improved land management, biodiversity conservation and strengthening the livelihoods of farmers.
Supply chain infrastructure – Identifying areas of waste, inefficiency, bottlenecks as well as opportunities to act through the entire food supply chain in the region.
Product innovation for nutrition – Ensuring the development of healthier products and improving access to more affordable staple and locally grown fresh produce.
Promoting healthier eating and lifestyle choices – Shifting consumer behaviour so that consumers can purchase healthier foods, live more active lifestyles and reduce food waste.
Three recommendations were also offered:
For businesses and groups of businesses working on smallholder agricultural sustainability to coordinate their efforts.
For businesses in logistics, packaging and information and communications technologies (ICT) to work with those in the food supply chain to optimize efficiency and reduce waste.
For companies, government bodies and NGOs to create a shared approach to engaging the consumer on better diet and lifestyle choices.
Piet Hilarides, Chief Operating Officer, FrieslandCampina Asia, said” “Food and nutrition security is a complex issue; no one entity can solve this global problem on its own. The roundtable highlighted that a collective effort among different players is necessary in order to bring about change. Innovation will be the core driver to leverage entrepreneurial mindsets in order to find success in scaling up and accelerating solutions.”
At the same time as the report was issued FrieslandCampina and Forum for the Future issued an invitation for all stakeholders to contact them if they are interested in working together, to accelerate scale in better food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.
The full report can be downloaded here.