‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.’ The world set itself a considerable challenge in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Currently, one in nine of the world’s population is chronically undernourished and, given that population is projected to grow significantly in upcoming years, much must change before hunger can be successfully and sustainably eradicated.
Our new briefing examines food demand and food security. The UK is affluent enough to guarantee food security for its population for now, yet it will not be able to do this indefinitely, due to its reliance on other countries for much of its food. The problem of food security is, by definition, a global problem. Global challenges, including climate change, environmental degradation and water scarcity, will affect the UK.
Though there are, in theory, many opportunities to improve food security across the globe, not all of these are viable in practice. Many opportunities, such as the expansion of crop land, intensify other challenges such as climate change or environmental degradation.
Moreover, it may be impossible to realise such opportunities in densely populated areas, due to a lack of space and competition with the building sector. Population growth will make these conflicts more prevalent, and consequently it is necessary that governments across the globe consider population stabilisation as a key component of improving food security.