Food Insecurity Threatens World Stability

A study was unveiled during an open debate in a workshop organized by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) at the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday to discuss a new regulatory framework needed for the food commodity market and food security.

The open debate was hosted by Mairead McGuinness, Member of the European Parliament (MEP, Ireland), and was attended by a large number of participants from European Union (EU) institutions, trade associations, businesses and civil society. They all gathered to discuss about food security vis-a-vis the continued volatility of food commodities worldwide.

The workshop focused on the economic and political conditions impacting food commodities. Participants discussed how the EU can help find ways to support the development of food markets and political governance instruments that would guarantee the accessibility, sustainability and quality of food.

Food security is at the heart of food supply chain issues. In the current global economic climate, access to affordable, safe and nutritional food is critical for communities,” said Guido Barilla, Chairman of the BCFN.

“A world where many are hungry and others well-fed is a world threatened by instability. By 2050 the world population will have grown by over 2 billion, with many of these born into poverty in the developing world,” MEP Mairead McGuinness said. “The challenge to our land base is enormous; we will need to increase production by 70% by 2050 to provide us with food, fuel and fiber.”

“Those of us in political life who have a deep understanding of agricultural production, new technologies and tried and tested methods have a duty to give strong political leadership and to keep the food security challenge to the fore,” she added.

Mario Monti, economist and member of the Advisory Board of the BCFN, commented on the economic and geopolitical aspects of food security. “Recent years have been marked by a sequence of crises worldwide: a global financial crisis and serious economic downturn, and social and political crises in a number of countries that rightly received the attention of the international community,” he said. “However the food crisis, even as a less visible emergency, also drives social unrest, inequality and global conflicts. The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition believes that governments and policy makers globally need to keep food high the agenda as one of the most pressing challenges that the world is facing.”

The BCFN is a multidisciplinary think tank focusing on issues of food and nutrition and their relations to economics, medicine, diet, sociology and the environment.