The world’s population is predicted to increase from an estimated 6.1 billion in 2000 to 9.3 billion by 2050 (mid scenario) (United Nations, 2004; U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
In order to feed this additional 3 billion people, global food production will need to increase by 70% by 2050 (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006). This continuing population and consumption growth will mean that the global demand for food will increase for at least another 40 years. Growing competition for land, water, nutrients (especially nitrogen) and energy, in addition to the overexploitation of fisheries and land degradation, will affect our ability to produce food, as will the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. The effects of climate change are a further threat. But the world can produce more food and can ensure that it is used more efficiently and equitably. A multifaceted and linked global strategy is needed to ensure sustainable and equitable food security.
Speaking on behalf of GTAC, Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO, said: “Every year, 1.2 billion people travel abroad. These, and the billions more who travel domestically, create a sector which contributes 10% of global GDP to the world’s economies and 1 in 11 jobs. Tourism has become a passport to prosperity, a driver of peace, and a transformative force for improving millions of lives. United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said in his message on the occasion of the launch of the International Year held in Madrid, Spain, 18 January: “The world can and must harness the power of tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include targets that relate to tourism: Goal 8 on promoting growth and decent work, Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production, and Goal 14 on conserving marine resources. But tourism also cuts across so many different areas of life, and involves so many different economic sectors and socio-cultural currents, that it is connected to the entire Agenda. Beyond the measurable advances that tourism can make possible, it is also a bridge to better mutual understanding among people from all walks of life. “Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (2017) is a crucial moment to make this important sector a force for good. Through 12 months of global actions, it will provide the opportunity for us all to promote our role as an engine of economic development, as a vehicle for sharing cultures, building mutual understanding and driving a more peaceful world.”
Read more HERE. Copyright @ WTTC 2017
Australia is one of only a handful of countries that produces more food than it consumes, producing food for around 60M people, and most Australians have access to an abundant and safe food supply. The competitiveness and sustainability of Australia’s agricultural sector is becoming ever more important as the mining boom recedes and transformational change in Asia creates a new wave of opportunities for rural commodity exports in value-driven markets. A thriving modern agricultural sector can be a lasting source of prosperity and an effective and efficient steward of Australia’s landscapes, natural resources and ecosystems.
There is disconnect between the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for Australian agriculture and the environmental, social and economic trends evident in past performance. The perception of abundance created by high-volume, low-cost market production masks a self-reinforcing underlying decline in soil, water and ecosystem resources.
Pressure on economic returns from lower prices and declining resource condition force farmers to adopt or persist with practices and technologies that maximise near-term output at the expense of resource condition, entrenching production models that lead to further depletion and increased pressure on year-to-year financial returns.
Australia is also considered one of the most vulnerable developed countries in the world to impacts of the changing climate, already 22% more climatically variable than any other country. Rising temperatures, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, and declining water availability in some of our most important agricultural regions pose significant risks for the nature, distribution, quality, and affordability of our food supply.
At the same time, the Australian and global population continues to grow, competition for arable land continues to intensify, and our natural resource base continues to degrade, placing ever-increasing demands on food production systems.
We used to think of Australia as the food bowl of Asia – but this is not even close. Australian agriculture currently produces food for an estimated 60 million people and, at best, could feed around 100M. The world population is predicted to rise to 9.3 billion people by 2050, and the world rising middle-class is expected to be 4.9 billion by 2030, an extra 3.1 billion potential customers seeking higher quality food. On these figures, Australian agriculture at best can only ever supply food to 3% the rising world middle class and could only meet 1% of the food demands of the world’s population. At the same time, it is only the world’s rising middle class that can afford the food produced by Australian farmers, with the majority of the added population expected to be in a lower socio-economic demographic, needing to produce their own food through subsistence agricultural systems.
While Australia can and should help export the knowledge and technology to improve agricultural production in developing countries, the fact is that Australian farmers cannot be viable and profitable by targeting the lower priced markets around the world. There is therefore a growing argument for Australian agriculture to change its focus from volume to value, thus targeting the rising world middle class and more discerning customers that can afford higher quality and higher value food. Thus, there is a new drive for Australian agriculture to see itself as the delicatessen of Asia, rather than the Food Bowl of Asia.
Historically Australia was never regarded as a destination for quality cuisine, having inherited the blandest of British cooking. However, waves of immigrants from countries which have cultures that celebrate quality food have changed the culinary landscape dramatically. Australian cuisine has ‘come of age’ and is garnering international accolades (Huntly, 2008). In 2008, two Sydney restaurants were ranked in the top fifty in the world by the S. Pellegrino ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurant’ list. However, as Huntly (2008) points out, we are cooking less than ever before, eating more pre-packaged and fast-foods, with rising rates of obesity. Therefore, we are seeing a sharp contrast between brilliant food and celebrity chefs, while some are eating worse than ever. This is a trend now common in the developed world and raises the real challenge of ‘what is good food’ for the next generation’ and what is our role in helping feed the 9 billion people? Source Background Briefing Document “Good Food for 9 Billion - Community Forum” December 2016.
Farmers everywhere have a big responsibility. They feed, clothe and have the potential to power the world. Every day they make environmental, economic and social decisions about the way they do business.
But very few people understand the social and cultural contribution of agriculture. In a nutshell – how it contributes to the fabric of our society not only our wealth but also our health and happiness.
It’s complex and there is no single model. It will require partnerships between farmers, consumers, business, scientists and government.
Farming is an increasingly competitive, complex and risky business. Climate change and the growing complexity of farm operations require a more considered approach towards preparing and adapting to future challenges. Making well-informed and timely decisions will help farming businesses prepare, build resilience and manage risks, regardless of the challenges ahead.
The solutions lie in farmers, consumers, businesses, scientists and government working together to:
In Australia, farmers make up less than 1% of the population, yet they provide 93% of food consumed here.
This is even though Australia is the hottest, driest inhabited continent with 35% of the country receiving so little rain it is classified as desert. Our landscapes are fragile and our natural resources are fixed, so we must learn how to harness them without depleting or degrading them.
Australian food and fibre producers are acutely aware of what is being asked of them. After all, they are on the front lines Excitingly our farmers are rising to the challenge and are successfully addressing the call for innovation and change. Australian agriculture has also led the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions – by a massive 40% in the last 40 years. Extensive research by Australian scientists has delivered drought resistant and water and fertiliser efficient crops. It is exciting to see new technologies, new breeds of plants, new management practices revolutionizing the way Australian farmers produce food and fibre. And this is happening out in our paddocks today!
In the future; sensors, automation, engineering and genetics are only going to be more impressive.
This will require business initiatives both in the developing and developed world. Business offers:
Government also plays an important enabling role with smart policy and regulation and co-investment in essential R&D
Communities also have a major role in solving the sustainability dilemma through sending signals back to the farm to focus on sustainability and quality not quantity.
This world is calling out for us to have a collective mindset. The challenge is how do we foster this. The spirit of problem solving runs deep within agriculture. Give a farmer a pair of pliers and some wire, and they can fix almost anything! But we cannot tackle the challenges of the 21st century and beyond, with 20th century thinking and technology and our farmers can’t do it alone.
We are all in this together and we need to engage everyone. We need to empower everyone, all stakeholders, and people of all ages to work effectively together towards this common goal.
Just imagine how much progress our lifetimes could contain with young people and farmers and the community working together.
“The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found but made. The activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.” John Schaar
Now let’s talk about that wicked problem known as waste and then have courageous conversations about the impact of our food and lifestyle choices on our health and wellbeing and the planet.
It’s hard to believe that one million Aussie kids go to bed hungry every night, yet Australians throw out enough food each year to fill a three-bedroom house
Close to 20% of young Australians don’t get enough food to eat every day whilst 64% of adults and almost 30% of young people between 5 and 17 are overweight.
But there is good news –
When it comes to waste, we are brilliant at creating it. Most of us buy and use much more than we could ever need – these items are called stuff or dust gatherers.
The wheelie bin full of rubbish that we put out every week created 70 bins full of rubbish that was produced upstream in the production cycle to make all our stuff that we buy.
Only 1% of all items purchased are still in use six months later. How did this happen?
According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian creates just over 2,000kgs of waste each year. Each household spends $1,266 on goods purchased but were never used. Around $600 worth of food is wasted by each household every year.
Between now and 2040, humans will consume as much as we have since we first stood on two legs.
The highest wasters are those with young families.
The lowest wasters are the elderly. Maybe it’s because they have lived through some seriously tough times – war and depression – and have some idea of what it is to be economical with their purchases. These folks may have something to teach us. …… Source Cool Australia
Now let’s look at how we nourish our bodies and how our choices impact on the planet
Social and community health is about building resilient individuals and communities.
Personal health consists of focusing on all aspects of ‘health’:
All aspects of our health are impacted upon by the food we eat, the exercise we undertake and the ways we take care of our mental health. Studies have proven the links between a healthy diet, and efficient and effective brain, physical and psychological functioning.
Overweight and obesity
Daily intake of fruit and vegetables
The Australian Guide To Healthy Eating recommends eating a variety of nutritious foods including vegetables, fruit, grain and lean meat to achieve a balanced healthy diet.
This guide indicates the need to increase the consumption of cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit, while consuming meat, fish and dairy products in lesser quantities.
Meat is an important source of protein and certain micro-nutrients, including iron, zinc and vitamins and milk is a rich source of protein and calcium. That’s why the Australian Guide recommends two daily serves of milk and dairy products, along with two serves of meat, fish and eggs.
Protein intake is important for a balanced diet, as insufficient protein intake can lead to obesity due to excessive carbohydrate and fat intake to meet energy requirements.
Plant foods – including grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes – are also vital for keeping us healthy. That’s why the Australian Guide To Healthy Eating recommends a higher consumption of plant foods each day, along the lines of seven serves of cereals, five serves of vegetables and legumes, and two serves of fruit. Doing that can reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer, and increase life expectancy.
Regular physical activity is an important contributor to good overall health, including promoting healthy weight and reducing chronic disease risk. However, the physical activity levels of many people, both in Australia and around the world, are less than the optimal level recommended to gain a health benefit. The World Health Organization attributes the trend toward physical inactivity to be due in part to insufficient participation in physical activity during leisure time, (recognised globally as participating in less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week), and to an increase in sedentary behaviour as part of the activities undertaken at work and at home.
The Australian Health Survey 2011-12 indicates that:
The Double Pyramid developed by the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition in Italy shows the synergies between food that is good for our health and environment.
This model consists of two pyramids: one is the traditional food pyramid like the Australian guide, while the other is an upside-down pyramid ranking the environmental impacts of the same foods. In general, foods at the base of the food pyramid are also those with the lowest environmental impact.
Cereal grain crops are primary producers and have a lower water and carbon footprint.
Legumes such as chickpea and lentil have less than half of the greenhouse emissions of other cereal crops, as they are able to fix nitrogen naturally from the air and do not require any nitrogen fertilisers.
Compared with animal products, emissions from vegetables are lower on a per tonne basis. Most emissions associated with vegetable production come from fertiliser use, electricity use and post-harvest refrigeration and transport.
Even a modest replacement of energy-intensive animal products with less-energy-intensive grains, fruits and vegetables would be significant at the global scale.
Given that fewer than 3% of people in Australia and the UK are vegetarian, it’s unrealistic to suggest a meat-free diet for everyone. It is important to note In Australia and New Zealand, grazing animals are mainly grass-fed rather than grain-fed (more common in the US), which may play an important role in soil carbon sequestration in grasslands, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
If a healthy and sustainable plant-based diet is better for our health and environment, why is it that consumption of plant foods in many developed countries does not meet recommended levels?
In Victoria, for example, fewer than 8% of adults consume the recommended daily intake of five or more serves of vegetables, and fewer than 46% eat the recommended daily intake of two or more serves of fruit.
The recent Australian Health Survey found that one in four adults were eating no vegetables on an average day and only 7% were eating the recommended five servings.
Our current diets cost more than healthy diets, so factors other than price must be helping drive preference for unhealthy choices. These likely include the abundant availability, accessibility, advertising and promotion of junk foods that exploit people’s vulnerabilities. It’s therefore important not to blame victims for responding as expected to unhealthy food environments.
Given the rapidly rising costs to all Australians of our growing waistlines – 25% of us are now obese, one of the highest rates in the world – failing to act is already proving extremely expensive, in both personal and economic terms.
It has been suggested that the government can help by promoting a healthier diet by considering educational and policy measures, such as reinstating the healthy-food star rating systems and restricting junk food promotion.
Before you let total and utter despair get the best of you – we can all work together to break the vicious cycle of rising obesity and ensure nutrition policy actions tackle barriers to healthy eating. Ways to do this include increasing availability of healthy foods and drinks in schools and hospitals and regulating against “junk” food and drink advertising directed to children. Together, these small steps can help shift the whole population to a healthier diet.
These statistics show there is huge room for improvement and opportunities for you as an individual, as a school and as a community to design and deliver idea/s and solutions for action.