Most of us already faced some oddities when we went to buy our food portion. Increasing prices, decreasing quality, erratic availability and the combination of them are known issues. As we try to unravel them we realize that there are deeper ones. Let’s find them!

ecological footprint – water waste

According to FAO agriculture uses 70% of global surface freshwater and it’s polluting 72% of our rivers and 56% of our lakes. The study says that today’s farming activities are posing a significant threat to groundwater quality.

climate change

Hungary was the biggest raspberry producer in Europe in the 1980s. Since then due to climate change it’s no longer economically viable. From 7000 ha we shrunk to 50 ha, 1/140 of it’s former area.

aging farmers

The average age of a Hungarian farmer was 55 in 2010. To get this number we need 1.5 times more 60 or 1.3 times more 70 years old older adults than 20 years old entrants. In 2010 there were 586 000 farmers and 4804 students started their agricultural higher education which is just 0.00819%, we’d need 122 years to replace everyone!

scalability

Our lives became 3 dimensional when we developed the technologies to construct multi floor buildings. Yet most of our our food production is still 2 dimensional. Therefore if we want to produce more food we either improve our productivity or we must buy new lands which price is growing continuously.

population growth

The world’s population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. To feed everyone we must inscrease our food production by 70% according to FAO.

changing needs

In September of 2018 we had a global tipping point where the amount of middle class households became the absolute majority. 3.8 billion people had enough expenditure to qualify for this rank. Food consumption follows this trend: more of the same quality then higher quality then luxurious, gourmet meals.

industrial attitude – quality concern

Today’s food production system is unable to react to the ever changing needs of customers. It’s due to the capital heavy long term investmets, where the farmer must use the equipment for 5-10-15-20 years to gain the necessary return. It’s a huge commitment which is mandatory to increase efficiency and competitiveness.

 

What do you think…

Are we in truble? Do we need to change our behaviour as customers? Or the companies should step up? Let’s discuss it at the comment section!

In the next article we’ll discover the cost of correlation between these challenges. Stay tuned!