On Tuesday, September 26, DuPont, in coordination with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), presented the updated 2017 Global Food Security Index findings with its new Natural Resources & Resilience category at the Ethos 360° Institute Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The updated Index is now available online at foodsecurityindex.eiu.com.
Following the review of the tool and report, a panel made up of leading businesses in the food supply value chain in Brazil convened to discuss the new category and agriculture sustainability. Seated on the panel: Maurício Lopes, President of Embrapa, moderator; Roberto Hun, Agriculture Division Leader DuPont Brazil; Laerte Moraes, President of the Business Unit of Starches & Sweeteners and Cocoa & Chocolate of Cargill Latin America; Flávio Cotini, President of Walmart Brazil.
According to the EIU report, after four years of gains, food security around the world has deteriorated this past year due to worsening political instability, rising migration and declining public-sector investment have driven a downturn in the Index rankings. Read the complete key findings from the 2017 GFSI online.
Incorporating Natural Resources & Resilience
Food security cannot be measured without considering the potential risks that exposure, extreme weather and natural resource depletion pose to agriculture and supply chains, and how countries are building resilience against such risks.
The 2017 GFSI features a new environmental category that recognizes the growing emphasis on resource conservation, climate change adaption, and sustainable agriculture practices. With factors, such as temperature change, land deforestation, and depletion of water resources, the Natural Resources & Resilience category measures future impacts on the countries in the GFSI. It is a stand-alone addition to the Index that does not affect the country-by-country data the EIU has been measuring since 2012. The new section allows users to see food security scores for the 113 nations in the GFSI, based on the existing models; then they see how country scores shift when the environmental factors are added.
“We are pleased that organizations and governments continue to use the Global Food Security Index to help make decisions that will ultimately lead to a country improving its food security profile,” said Krysta Harden, DuPont Vice President of Public Policy and Chief Sustainability Officer. “As leaders in agriculture, adding the new natural resources and resilience adjustment factor furthers our commitment to support a sustainable food system.”
The addition of this category has highlighted the connection between food security and climate risks. Notably, according to the EIU, the impact on lives and livelihoods from rising oceans could increasingly force large movements of populations, as well as wiping out big areas of agricultural land—a trend already seen in Bangladesh.
“This combination of mass migrations and loss of available land inevitably has a deleterious impact on food security. Local welfare systems struggle to cope. And, as a result, the GFSI stresses the importance of governments, the private sector, non-profit organizations and other stakeholders to come together in order to mitigate and adapt to these risks,” said Katherine Stewart, EIU consulting analyst and editor of the report.