How will we protect our land and water resources, and simultaneously, feed the world? By 2050, we expect the world’s population to increase by nearly two billion people, to nine billion.
How do we ensure that our planet is able to feed the nine billion, especially when hunger is already so prevalent? How do we empower small- and medium-sized farmers and also pursue innovations to boost food production without widespread harm to the environment?
Finding the solutions means that we have to break out of our silos and work together: NGOs, corporations, academia, government and of course, the many everyday people who are invested in a better future for our planet.
That’s why many of us gathered last week for the Washington Post Live forum: “The Future of Food: Food Security in the 21st Century.” You can read The Post’s special report on food security. It covers everything from food waste to poverty to healthier foods. One my favorite pieces poses some difficult questions.
I spoke as well about our healthier foods initiative. As a company with a global reach, we are doing a lot of thinking about the nine billion because we have the opportunity and the responsibility to make a difference.
One of our top suppliers, Unilever, shares our passion. Unilever CEO Paul Polman co-authored a fascinating piece for The Washington Post that puts what’s to come in clear focus. His opening:
Imagine all the food mankind has produced over the past 8,000 years. Now consider that we need to produce that same amount again — but in just the next 40 years if we are to feed our growing and hungry world.