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Fixing a broken food supply chain

About a month ago, we talked about why the food supply chain needs to add visibility as part of an industry-wide overhaul. Now, some other outlets are ...

Freddie Pierce
|Jun 27|magazine6 min read

About a month ago, we talked about why the food supply chain needs to add visibility as part of an industry-wide overhaul.

Now, some other outlets are starting to make sense of a problematic food supply chain.

With pricing reaching historic levels in wheat, corn, sugar, dairy and oils, costs are going up for the consumer, and one report says the recent price surges may only be the beginning.

With population growing at a startling rate, demand is soaring. Supply may not be there to meet that demand, however, with the recent push toward biofuels, which take millions of tons of cereals away from the food supply chain.

"There is a structural shift in the demand and supply balance of food on the planet," Dr. Bill Pritchard, a Sydney University economic geographer and food security expert, told The Sydney Morning Herald. "It's a pattern that is going to face us over the coming decades."

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Urbanization and pollution are adding to a scarcity of land and water, and some analysts predict that close to half of the world’s population will be living in areas under water stress by 2030 if current trends continue.

Focusing on improving production is only part of the problem, however. A report on Stock & Land suggests that the food supply chain will be critical if we hope to feed needy third-world countries in Africa and Asia.

The food supply chain is broken, and adding visibility is only part of the battle. Solutions need to be offered to get food out faster and more efficiently to help the food producers, who could then have more capital to invest on producing more food to meet a growing demand.