Nestlé has joined other consumer goods companies in calling for increased public and private sector investment to accelerate food security programmes worldwide.
The company is a member of the Business 20 (B20) Task Force on Food Security, which has set out actions to increase agricultural production and productivity by 50% by 2030, while improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Paul Bulcke, Nestlé’s CEO, attended a meeting of the Task Force at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, along with other businesses and international non-government organisations.
Bulcke said: “We need to strengthen research for efficiently produced, healthy food, while ensuring the availability of food at affordable prices. This includes improving logistics, infrastructure, and transportation systems to ensure those who need food are supplied with it."
Bulcke went on to say that to ensure food security, agriculture must also play a vital role in helping to address the urgent issue of water scarcity.
He cited research suggesting that if present trends continue, the livelihoods of one-third of the global population will be affected by water scarcity by 2020, with annual water losses equivalent to that needed to grow 30% of our global grain crop.
The Task Force on Food Security calls for farmers to be placed at the centre of multi-stakeholder efforts to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability, and food security.
It says developing new opportunities for small scale farmers will require a shift from simply providing them with aid, to encouraging them to become more entrepreneurial.
According to the Task Force, this will require the creation of stronger national agriculture and food security programmes, supported by national level public-private partnerships.
The kinds of partnerships championed by the Task Force are already being piloted in 11 countries as part of the World Economic Forum’s ‘New Vision for Agriculture’ initiative, of which Nestlé is also a member.
The Task Force on Food Security has based its action points on the goals laid out by the New Vision for Agriculture. The initiative emphasises the links between food security, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity.
The business sectors represented by the Task Force on Food Security plan to invest an additional $10-15bn in agriculture by 2030.
These investments will be designed to expand access to market for between three to five million smallholder farmers, particularly women farmers, while ensuring the sustainable use of resources.
The Task Force also stressed the need for governments’ investment to help improve essential infrastructure and services, boost productivity, and reduce waste.
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