In October, business leaders as well as government representatives from all over the world came together at the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Switzerland, to discuss solutions to the global challenges to international investment in the new era of globalization and industrialization. Fairfood´s managing director Sander de Jong spoke about blockchain technology for sustainable development. In this blog he shares his views on a future-proof food system.
A cup of coffee from Brazil or tea from India to kickstart your day. A banana from Honduras before your evening run. Indonesian rice for dinner. A piece of chocolate from Ghana as a late night snack. Every day we have the world on our plate. It’s so normal that we no longer realize it, but more than 80 percent of the world’s food comes from smallholder farmers. They are the engine of our global food system. As we’re heading towards 9.7 billion people who will need to be fed in 2050, we need this engine to speed up. We are highly dependent on these smallholder farmers to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The irony in our world food system is that many of those smallholder farmers who produce much of the food we eat go to bed hungry themselves. Smallholder farmers are amongst the most vulnerable groups suffering from food insecurity, as underlined in the recent FAO report on the world’s state of food security and nutrition. In recent years the plight of these farmers, along with global levels of food insecurity, has been worsening. This is why it’s more important than ever to highlight the systematic issues in our food chains that contribute to the predicament of smallholder farmers around the world.