Last month, leaders from DuPont, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), government agencies, the agriculture community and other related parties came together to launch the Global Food Security Index (GFSI). Speakers at the launch events—held simultaneously in Washington, DC, USA; Brussels, Belgium; São Paulo, Brazil; and Johannesburg, South Africa—all agreed that food security is an international challenge that must be addressed with a collaborative approach.
Unlike other indices, the Global Food Security Index, developed by the EIU and sponsored exclusively by DuPont, transcends politics and agricultural production to investigate the fundamental issues of affordability, availability, and quality and safety among various issues of concern. This new index provides a way for food producers, farmer organizations, NGOs, governments and the private sector around the world to investigate and develop programs that will make a lasting impact.
Washington, DC, USA
To start the international launch event, director of DuPont Global Public Affairs, Anthony Farina, introduced the need for such a tool. Farina described how DuPont, working with others from around the world, identified the need for a common, universal tool to drive precision and accountability around food security efforts. This led to the collaboration between DuPont and the EIU to develop the new Global Food Security Index.
“This new tool,” describes DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman, “will help us around the world measure the many aspects of food security, providing a common language to discuss what needs to be done. Our hope is that the Global Food Security Index will promote collaborations across the food value chain, generating insights and most importantly, stimulating action.”
Paolo De Castro, member of European Parliament, opened the launch in Brussels by
emphasizing the challenge of food insecurity. “We are in a new era of scarcity. We have moved from abundance to scarcity. And it’s not a question of demography – increasing population – it’s a question of income and affordability. It’s a question of volatility.”
James Borel, executive vice president at DuPont, described the GFSI as a comprehensive means for organizations with different perspectives to “zero-in” on a variety of issues within the food security system and makes an impact. “The FSI is a tool, not a solution. We need tools to reach a solution.”
São Paulo, Brazil
Ricardo Vellutini, president of DuPont Brazil, related the problem of food security to his
country’s development. “In Brazil, for example, we see a promising scenario with a growing middle class, which today accounts for 54 percent of the population… Until recently [the Brazilian people] were not part of the so-called ‘basic basket of goods.’ However, what are we doing to ensure healthier and more nutritious foods for these families?”
Former agricultural minister Robert Rodrigues noted the beneficial uses of the GFSI, stating, “This index can show governments how they can change and move up their ranking. It allows for cleaner policy prescriptions.”
Johannesburg, South Africa
Craig Binetti, president of DuPont Nutrition and Health, stated, globally “we will commit $10 billion to R&D [research and development] and 4,000 new products will be introduced.” Moreover, through collaborations and investments to strengthen agricultural systems—especially in regards to making food more available, nutritious and culturally appropriate—DuPont aims to improve the livelihoods of at least three million farmers and their rural communities, according to Binetti.
Already inspired by the efforts of many organizations and individuals, we want to work together with you. Please share your thoughts about the index by leaving us a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!