‘Enough is Enough’ When It Comes to the Food Security Debate, Says Elanco President
Innovation, Choice and Trade - the Three Pillars for Ensuring a Food Secure World before 2050
London (13 FEB 2014) – Elanco today introduced “Enough: The fight for a food secure tomorrow,” a report focused on the realities and solutions available to achieve global food security. The report, written by Elanco President Jeff Simmons, advocates for farmer access to innovative tools in order to feed a growing global population and save natural resources.
During his presentation at “Feeding the World 2014: Sustainable solutions for a world crisis” hosted by The Economist, Simmons shared the main messages of the report, explaining that innovation, choice and trade will be the core solutions to tackle food security.
Simmons called upon the urgency to act and laid out some facts: The fastest part of the world’s middle class growth will occur between today and 20201. This means billions of people demanding access to better diets, including an increased consumer demand for meat, milk and eggs in the next six years2.
“We are currently on the fast track to a crisis and a global shortage of basic foods such as meat, milk and eggs. For example, today, we are meeting global egg demand by adding hens. On this path, hen numbers will need to double to more than 12.5 billion hens in order to meet consumer demand in 2050. This is simply not sustainable,” Simmons said.
“But alternatives exist. We have - either available right now or in the pipeline - the technology that would enable us to meet consumer demand in 2050. But we need to give farmers the ability to access and utilize this technology and ensure that proven innovation and farm practices which maintain health and productivity are available for use,” Simmons continued.
Simmons’ call for technology is backed up by food security experts, including Aalt Dijkhuizen from Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands.
“The simple fact is that we cannot feed the world of tomorrow if we reject technology and revert to the farming practices used by past generations,” said Dijkhuizen. “It is possible to create a sustainable, global food supply if we are willing to use proven technologies that help farmers improve animal wellbeing and productivity.”
Simmons’ “Enough” report also features new research that helps detail the reality of consumer perceptions. The research includes original consumer perception and survey data from the Nielsen Company and Elanco researchers as well as in-depth new research regarding nutrition and food chain solutions for ensuring food security3. Findings from the research include that only 4 percent of consumers are not concerned with price when buying food. For the remainder of consumers however, price is increasingly important. Since the 2011 study, the prioritization of cost when buying food has jumped 13 percent to become the consumers’ number one priority4.
“Food security is an issue we can start to solve now. If we focus on the need, rely on a science-based approach and take leadership, we can create a food secure future – one in which 9 billion people have access to enough nutritious, affordable food,” Simmons concluded.
Notes to editors
Elanco conducted the second edition (2013) of the International Consumer Attitudes Study to determine the key issues for consumers when buying food. Based on two key criteria – 1) unaided questions and 2) consumer spending data, the research includes 34 studies from 26 countries accounting for more than 100,000 consumers. For more information, visit www.SensibleTable.com. Join @JeffSimmons2050 and @Elanco for more discussion on Twitter with #FeedThe9. The website calls for advocates to join The Enough Movement and provides resources for campaigners to help make their voices heard in the fight for a food secure tomorrow.
1 Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). “How to Feed the World in 2050” Rome. 12-13 October 2009. pg. 1-6 http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/wsfs/ docs/expert_paper/How_to_Feed_the_World_in_2050.pdf
2 Kharas, Homi. “The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries.” Global Development Outlook. OECD Development Center. Working Paper No. 285. January 2010. <http://www.oecd.org/dev/44457738.pdf>
3 International Consumer Attitudes Study. ICAS.Updated June 2013. Elanco Animal Health. Data on File.
4 The Nielsen Company. Omnibus Survey. UK. April 2013.
Elanco is a global innovation-driven company that develops and markets products to improve animal health and food animal production in more than 75 countries. Elanco employs more than 3,000 people worldwide, with offices in more than 40 countries, and is a division of Eli Lilly and Company, a leading global pharmaceutical corporation. Additional information about Elanco is available at www.elanco.com.