Sustainability in Food

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Latest Global Food Security Index Data: Record Crop Production and Falling Oil Prices Drive Increased Food Affordability

Results from the latest Global Food Security Index (GFSI) quarterly price adjustment update revealed that food affordability improved in nearly 75 percent of countries in September through November 2014 timeframe largely because of a 2.8 percent decline in global food prices, which have reached a four-year low.

Homepage_04In a recent release, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) reported that all-time high production levels of corn, wheat and soybeans, and falling global oil prices have resulted in improved food security outlooks for 79 of the 109 countries in the Index. However, the full impact of cheaper oil on local consumer prices, political stability, and on the fiscal positions of oil exporters and importers will only play out in the months to come. Find the full news release here.

Key Findings

The quarterly affordability updates of the GFSI highlight the vulnerability of countries to food price shocks, especially for those where populations already face undernourishment. Incorporating global data and information from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Food Price Index, the EIU’s quarterly update adjusts for global food price changes and for movements in exchange rates, national incomes and import dependence on a country-by-country basis. This provides a top-level assessment of the impact of price changes that might help or hurt a country’s food security.

According to the FAO, global food prices have been falling since the end of August 2014, when they reached the lowest level in four years. Prices continued to decline, reaching another new four-year low in November.

  • Despite significant score improvements, few countries experienced changes in their overall GFSI rankings. Denmark and Australia, however, each rose four places in the rankings, while Switzerland fell five places.
  • Global food prices fell across all commodities except cereals, with dairy and sugar experiencing the most drastic declines, according to the FAO.
  • Falling oil prices increased food affordability by lowering transportation costs. Increases in crude oil supply, weakening demand, and Saudi Arabia’s hands-off approach to price declines have resulted in plummeting oil prices, which will lower food transportation costs
  • Hungary and Botswana experienced the greatest rank improvements—a rise of six and five places, respectively—in the food Affordability category since the last quarterly update in August

For detailed information about the latest quarterly price adjustment factor to the Global Food Security Index, please visit http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/.

Strengthening the Nutrition of Sorghum

Micronutrient deficiency, often called “hidden hunger,” is not obvious until too late – when there is permanent damage that leads to a lifetime of consequences.

In Africa, up to half a million children become blind from Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) with increased risk of cognitive impairment, disease and death from severe infections. Furthermore, nearly 600,000 women die from childbirth-related causes, many from complications that could be reduced through more vitamin A in their diet.

In response to significant health and agriculture challenges, DuPont Pioneer is contributing its capabilities in scientific innovation, plant genetics and agricultural systems to the African Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) initiative. Watch a video about the program, below.

Established in 2005, ABS is a public private partnership that is actively working to help improve nutrition for the nearly 300 million people in Africa who depend on sorghum, but who do not have access to another staple that provides the essential nutrients that sorghum lacks.

The ABS initiative demonstrates how cutting edge science and inclusive innovation are helping to solve global challenges through local solutions. ABS is enhancing the nutritional quality of sorghum through biofortification, with an immediate target of increased and stabilized levels of pro-vitamin A, iron and zinc.

While DuPont contributes expertise, as well as monetary, in-kind and capacity building support, organizations such as Africa Harvest and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization play critical roles in this humanitarian effort.

100 Days to Milano Expo: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life

The countdown is on! We are 100 days away from the opening of Expo Milano 2015 and construction is in full swing. Watch the latest aerial footage from the Expo site:

Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, is the theme that runs through all the events organized both inside and outside of the exhibition site. In July, construction began on the USA Pavilion, which follows theme, American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet. The pavilion will showcase issues of sustainability, food security, food access, nutrition and waste. DuPont is a sponsoring partner of the USA Pavilion. For more information, visit Expo2015.org

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