The global food system needs forward looking strategies

The world is facing tremendous changes, and their unprecedented scale and pace are deeply affecting the lives of billions of people. Climate change, the impact of increasing wealth on dietary patterns, globalisation of the economy, new technologies, and a shift toward new sources of energy are just some of the factors bringing food and agriculture to the forefront of the world's economic, political and developmental agendas for at least the coming decade. Forward-looking strategies - which rely upon scientific analysis of future developments and trends - will be crucial for providing a basis for making informed, timely and effective decisions in the future. Ultimately, we need a global food system that offers healthy food for everyone, without further damaging the planet.

A combination of perspectives

Our objective is to combine a thorough approach with thought-provoking activities. To do so, we examine the wide range of factors influencing the global food system through a series of thematic seminars and interviews with key opinion formers from a wide range of disciplines. Their input forms the basis of further dialogue, research and policy development.

The benefits of participating

You have the opportunity to:

  • Gain a firsthand overview of longer term perspectives and predictions of key opinion formers and decision makers.
  • Be involved in the development of an in-depth debate addressing the major challenges for food production and consumption.
  • Help shape the future direction and pace of this debate.
  • Explore and develop new synergies and partnerships.
  • Demonstrate that you and your organisation are frontrunners in the quest for the sustainable future of food.
  • To help make a real difference.

Five consecutive meetings

Four consecutive meetings, each next one building on the outcomes of the previous, are the means used for dialogue and knowledge sharing:

  • A first seminar looking the role technology can play in response to limited natural resources and expanding consumer demand in the global food system was held in Brussels in 2008.
  • The second seminar exploring the role of the investment sector and retail in making the global food system more sustainable was held in London in 2010.
  • In November 2011, the third seminar examined the future impact of BIC countries on the global food system in Lausanne.
  • As our first Future of Food seminar on another continent, the fourth seminar was held in São Paolo, Brazil in Q2 2013, and focussed on the issues and opportunities associated with the growing middle-class in the BRIC countries, as well as the regional similarities and differences.
  • The fifth seminar, set to take place in India in 2014/2015 will ask the question 'How to include the excluded?' and will focus on the challenges and opportunities of including smallholder farmers and urban poor in the global food system.

    More details to follow. Interested? Please contact Rutger Schilpzand

These activities will enable a series of follow-up activities to be put into motion, thereby enabling ongoing strategic stakeholder dialogue.


Added Value of our approach

The added value of this approach lies in our commitment to:

  • Engage a broad range of experts, decision makers, and top level strategic thinkers from disciplines that relate to or affect the global food system.
  • Examine the important external influences that shape the global food system, as well as their interactions and synergies.
  • Promote open and on-going stakeholder dialogue between governments, the investment and finance community, food-related business, civil society and representatives from science and academia.
  • Focus on a 15 year perspective.