Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Global food security – the consequences for Switzerland

Society is facing major challenges in ensuring global food security. Global trends since the food-price crisis in 2008 have revealed significant new risks. In 2012, the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture decided to identify, quantify and prioritise these risks and to derive potential areas of intervention. A literature review based on the analysis of key publications (Subproject 2) provides a global perspective on the global food security situation and future projections. The literature study identified seven drivers influencing the future of the global food security system: (i) population growth; (ii) climate change; (iii) environmental
degradation and competition for land, water and energy resources; (iv) changing dietary patterns and consumer preferences; (v) rise in, and volatility of food prices; (vi) increasing vertical integration of value chains in food production and markets; (vii) technological progress. The report identifies six intervention areas for which conclusions and options for action are suggested: (i) agricultural production; (ii) environmental sustainability and resource efficiency; (iii) dietary patterns; (iv) trade policies and the role of multinational food companies; (v) research and innovation; and (vi) international cooperation.

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