Sustainability in Food

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Food Security Indicators – Diversity of Perspectives? Different Needs?

The Sustainable Agriculture Organisation (FNL) and DuPont hosted a roundtable last week at the International Green Week in Berlin, Germany – the world’s biggest fair for food, agriculture and horticulture – to discuss food security. The event was hosted by Werner Schwarz, Member of the FNL Board and Vice President of the German Farmers Association, and attended by US Ambassador John B. Emerson, Pat Thaker from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Piero Conforti from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Hartmut Reinke, from DuPont.

In the room there is general consensus. The facts are clear. US Ambassador John B. Emerson remarked that despite all the world’s technological advances, today nearly 870 million people, or one-eighth of the world’s population, suffer from chronic hunger. And indeed, any discussion on food security begins with similar sobering statements: According to the U.N., food output must grow by 70 percent beyond today’s level in order to feed a population of nine billion or more by 2050. It also means that in the coming 30 years, developing countries will need an extra 120 million hectares for crops, an overall increase of 12.5 percent.

John Emerson

U.S. Ambassador John B. Emerson delivered the opening remarks

DuPont IGW 2014

From left to right: Pat Thacker, EIU; Jens Freitag, moderator; Piero Conforti, FAO; and Hartmut Reinke, DuPont.

The commitment of the session’s participants is evident and steadfast. Ambassador Emerson affirmed the United States is committed to improving global food security across a broad range of programs and initiatives like “Feed the Future” among others, and emphasized the role of innovation. Indeed, improving global food security requires agricultural innovation – from maximizing yield potential, keeping crops pest- and disease-free, enhancing the nutritional value of food, detecting contamination before it causes sickness, and reducing waste by packaging food efficiently – all elements that our science at DuPont currently addresses that lead to sustainable productivity gains.

This commitment leads to questions of accountability and measurement. What are the indicators of food security? How can governments, companies, institutions, and individuals understand the different facets of food security, and what actions can be taken that will have real impact? Pat Thaker from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Piero Conforti from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) introduced their respective indices to help address those questions. As the discussion unfolded, and the issues and food security indicators deconstructed, what became clear is that the EIU Global Food Security Index, which is sponsored by DuPont, and the FAO’s work on a food security index, can only complement each other in helping guide policy makers and highlighting market development opportunities.

“Improving food security requires holding ourselves accountable to specific and measureable actions. Understanding the indicators that impact food security is the first step in forming collaborative partnerships to address what should be the top priority of all nations, companies and individuals,” concluded Hartmut Reinke, from DuPont.

DuPont CEO Provides Point of View on Global Food Security at World Economic Forum

DuPont Chair and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman participated in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 23, to discuss what environmental, societal and economic forces are reshaping the global context for food security.

The discussion focused on changing climate and weather patterns, addressing demands of an emerging global middle class and strengthening efficient agricultural value chains.

“Food security is a global challenge where DuPont is using its scientific capabilities to address. We have transformed our portfolio to put greater emphasis on delivering higher growth, higher value offerings for the agriculture and nutrition industries,” Kullman said. “DuPont has a unique vantage point on food security because we have innovations across the full value chain, allowing us to holistically address the challenge of feeding the growing global population. Improving agricultural productivity, providing food and nutrition solutions and finding ways to protect food and reduce waste are all part of our strategy.”

WEF 2014

2014 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting panel: moderated by Administrator of USAID, Rajiv J. Shah; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria, Adesina Akinwumi Ayodeji; DuPont Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Ellen Kullman; Chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj, Ajay Vir Jakhar; and Group Chief Executive Officer of Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., Michel M. Liès.

Kullman said the company’s strategy has enabled DuPont to focus on innovative technologies and collaborations to understand and adapt to changing growing conditions globally. There have been a variety of public/private partnerships that indicate willingness to collaborate across sectors for impact – including a growing collaboration between DuPont and USAID in Africa. This partnership aims to enhance incomes of more than 35,000 smallholder maize farmers and scale up network for seed distribution in three years.

View the replay of the session below or at this link:

USAID and DuPont Announce Commitment to Increase Farmer Productivity and Food and Nutrition Security

On the margins of the World Economic Forum at DAVOS, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and DuPont formally announced a joint agreement to deepen efforts to reduce global hunger and poverty by enabling smallholder farmers access to proven, safe, and transformative agricultural innovations. Signed by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel at the World Economic Forum, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) delivers on commitments made through the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and builds on a strong history of partnership between DuPont, USAID, university partners, the private sector, and NGOs.

DuPont USAID agreement

DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah signed an MOU to help sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ yields and income potential while also improving nutrition outcomes over the next five years.

“We know that by improving smallholder farmers’ access to key tools and technologies, we can help ensure they have the opportunities to participate in increasingly global markets,” said Dr. Shah. “Better productivity, easier market access, and higher incomes lead to less poverty and improved nutrition. This is the vision that drives USAID’s leadership of Feed the Future and our ongoing contributions to the New Alliance.”

The USAID and DuPont MOU builds upon a partnership where in places like Ethiopia and Ghana we are working together to improve the maize value chain to improve the productivity and income of at least 35,000 smallholder farmers in each country through the adoption of new technologies. Additionally, Asia and Latin America are also earmarked for initiatives.

This new collaboration with USAID marks a significant milestone in DuPont’s commitment to food security – which includes product innovation, engaging and educating youth, and improving livelihoods of farmers and their rural communities.

“For DuPont, this global MOU with USAID helps us to jointly capitalize on synergies between the DuPont science, technological and market capabilities with USAID’s development achievements, credibility and monitoring and evaluation expertise,” said Borel.

For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit

To learn more about Feed the Future, visit For more on USAID: Follow the latest at @FeedtheFuture @USAID @rajshah #WEF14

Details: USAID and DuPont MoU

Details: USAID and DuPont MoU

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