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World Food Day 2023: The challenges and Europe’s role

By Valentin Jahn, author and futurologist – in conversation with environmental engineer Jörg Trübl, CEO MABEWO AG.

In the golden month of October, when nature turns into a colourful spectacle and the chestnuts fall from the trees, we encounter two events that could not be more opposite. They bring home to us in a striking way how fragile our food security is in today’s world. In a world where abundance and scarcity exist simultaneously, World Food Day 2023 takes on a special meaning under this year’s motto „Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind.“

This day, celebrated every year on 16 October, serves not only as a reminder of the importance of fighting hunger and malnutrition, but also as an appeal to the world to take collective action to ensure the right to food for everyone.

Thanksgiving vs World Food Day 

On the one hand, there is the harvest festival, a celebration of gratitude that can be traced back in its origins to the Roman Empire, ancient Greece and ancient Israel. When the harvest season reaches its peak, people come together to celebrate the abundant gifts of nature and express their gratitude. The bounty of the harvest is given to us by nature each year, and the harvest festival reminds us how precious these gifts are.

On the other hand, there is World Food Day, which every year presents the World Food Report and painfully reminds us that in many parts of the world, especially in the countries of the South, people still suffer from hunger. Despite positive developments in recent years, 800 million people worldwide still go hungry and another two billion suffer from „hidden hunger“, a lack of essential vitamins and minerals.

FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The date for World Food Day dates back to the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 16 October 1954. World Food Day was introduced in 1979 and has been held annually in various countries ever since.

„The goal was and is to draw attention to the global food situation and to coordinate efforts to eliminate hunger,“ says Jörg Trübl, environmental engineer and CEO of MABEWO AG. Jörg Trübl explains that the world population has changed dramatically over the last seven decades, making the challenges increasingly complex. „Food security cannot be taken for granted. While we celebrate nature’s generosity, we must not forget that the right to food is a fundamental human right. Here we face a pressing challenge. „In a world where food insecurity is rapidly increasing in numerous regions, agricultural research is called upon to make a decisive contribution to the realisation of this human right,“ says Jörg Trübl.

World population and the food crisis:

With over 8 billion people on our planet, we face the dual challenge of ensuring enough food for all and doing so in a sustainable way. Jörg Trübl adds that on 15 November 2022, according to calculations by the United Nations (UN), the world population passed the impressive mark of eight billion people. This alarming increase means a doubling of the world’s population since the 1970s, when about four billion people inhabited our planet. In 1950, there were already 2.5 billion people. „This rapid population explosion raises urgent questions about the sustainable use of resources and food security, which the global community must address together in the coming years,“ Trübl is convinced. 

The challenges for Europe:

By 2050, the world’s population is expected to rise to over 9 billion, further increasing the pressure on our resources and food system, Europe faces unique challenges in terms of feeding the world. While the region has many wealthy countries, it also has a growing number of people who are food insecure. This is often due to social inequalities and economic challenges. In addition, Europe contributes to global food security by exporting food to other parts of the world. The sustainability of this practice is increasingly questioned in times of climate change and resource scarcity.

The role of companies like the Swiss MABEWO AG Group of Companies:

„The world is at a crucial turning point,“ says Jörg Trübl, explaining that climate change is putting agriculture under ever greater pressure, with droughts, heat waves, floods and soil erosion threatening food production. At the same time, more and more people are moving to cities, resulting in long transport distances for much-needed food. „At this critical time, we are taking responsibility and looking at the challenges of tomorrow with a holistic perspective. Our multidisciplinary team works tirelessly to find efficient solutions for growing crops by using cutting-edge technology. We create a system that enables the year-round and reliable cultivation of crops as healthy food and feed. Our highly automated and modular indoor farms are designed to meet our customers‘ needs for high-quality produce, flexibility and minimal effort. With our facilities, we offer an innovative and sustainable solution by using clean electricity from photovoltaic systems for crop production. An answer to the challenges of the 21st century,“ says Trübl.

Mabewo AG - clean energy for crop production
Mabewo AG – Clean energy for crop production

Companies like the Swiss MABEWO AG group of companies want to make a significant contribution to securing the world’s food supply. Through innovative approaches to agriculture, sustainable production methods and technology development, they want to help increase food security and minimise environmental impact. Environmental engineer Trübl adds that, in addition, food waste must be reduced and, moreover, the promotion of the circular economy must be implemented in all sectors.

Europe’s contribution to World Food Day: It concerns everyone!

Europe must find long-term solutions for world food that are socially just and environmentally sustainable. This includes promoting research and innovation in agriculture, supporting smallholder farmers and implementing policies that promote food security. Europe can also lead the shift to sustainable food systems and advance global dialogue on food and agriculture.

Jörg Trübl says that the challenges of food security are global, but they also require local and regional solutions. Companies like the Swiss MABEWO AG group of companies want to contribute to improving the global food situation. Europe’s commitment and leadership in shaping sustainable food systems are crucial for a better future.

Joy and responsibility – „Future Food

October reminds us that there are two sides to the food coin: the joy of the bountiful harvest and the responsibility to ensure that no one in this world goes hungry. Jörg Trübl draws attention to the fact that it is up to us to overcome this contradiction and shape a sustainable future for all. „Future Food“ – this term raises hope for a sustainable future of feeding the world, especially in view of the intensifying challenges of climate change and rapid population growth. 

Combating world hunger requires rethinking the way we produce, distribute and consume food. This includes investing in climate-adapted agricultural practices, promoting sustainable food systems, reducing food waste and strengthening nutrition education. „The use of state-of-the-art technologies and the promotion of innovations in food production are just as crucial as the creation of fair and equitable trade relations,“ Jörg Trübl is convinced. 

The future of world food depends on the collective effort of the global community to ensure that no one in the world goes hungry, regardless of the challenges of climate change and population growth.

 

Author: Valentin Jahn – Blogger & Futurologist

 

About the MABEWO Group of Companies:
““A strong roof bundles competence”

MABEWO unites companies under its roof that work on the development and operation of sustainable production processes. In doing so, it relies on renewable energy and efficient processes to conserve valuable resources such as land, water and nutrients. MABEWO AG is a provider of integrative pure-tech solutions ranging from Controlled Open Field Farming to Indoor Farming. MABEWO thus solves the problems of agriculture resulting from climate change and its consequences. MABEWO will be present at AGRITECHNICA in Hannover from 12 to 18 November 2023 in Hall 24 at Stand C33. Here you can learn more about the MABEWO AG

 

Press contact:
MABEWO AG
Andreas Engel   
Chli Ebnet 3
CH-6403 Küssnacht/Rigi  
Schweiz  
T +41 41 817 72 00
Email: presse@mabewo.com

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