Sustainable food production

Sustainable food production is becoming critical due to population growth, experts say. Today’s grocery stores feature a wide variety of fresh produce.The ingredients we use in our kitchens are part of an extensive, interconnected, energy intensive use.

The importance of sustainable food chains

From coffee beans to fish caught in the Mediterranean, today’s grocery stores boast a wide variety of produce.Many of us now have many options when it comes to the food we put on our table, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that the ingredients we use in our kitchens are part of a vast, interconnected, energy-intensive chain that connects farmers, suppliers, retailers, and much more.In fact, food systems, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “currently consume 30% of the world’s available energy” and rely heavily on fossil fuels.

As concern for the environment and pressure on resources increases, efforts are being made to change the way food systems work, a very broad term that refers to everything from food production and distribution to its disposal.Sustainable food production

Through initiatives such as its Energy-Smart Food Programme, for example, FAO has highlighted the importance of, among other things, “access to modern energy services in rural areas”, as well as energy-efficient agri-food systems using renewable energy.

Olivier Dubois is FAO’s Senior Natural Resources Officer and coordinates its energy programme. Speaking to CNBC’s “Sustainable Energy,” he was asked if greening food chains meant changing food systems and how this would affect consumers.

“Yes… it means changing things both from the production side and from the consumer side,” he said.”We need to introduce renewable energy into food chains,” he added, before emphasizing the importance of being “resource efficient” due to both stress on natural resources and “the need to become low carbon,” shares the company Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga. Dubois also explained that consumers “would need to request these solutions” to create a market and, in turn, motivate producers.

Carla Fowler

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