here are approximately 821 million people still starving worldwide. However, the majority of experts are confident that the goal of adequate nutrition can be achieved with the help of agriculture. “Also because it has to be achieved!”, said the host of the conference, K+S CEO Dr. Burkhard Lohr. “An insecure food situation undermines peace and security. It prevents people from living a healthy life and limits their development of skills to pursue jobs. Secured nutrition is worth a lot and has a high economic benefit”, said Lohr in his welcome speech to around 250 guests.
Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, stressed in his opening speech that the fight against hunger can only be won if a global agricultural turnaround succeeds: "80 per cent of food production in developing countries is in the hands of smallholders. What we need is a new vision of rural development: resource-saving, job-creating, fair and innovative. We need to produce more food with fewer resources, trade it fairly and create future opportunities in the countryside. "
Dr. Tassos Haniotis, Director of Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, put future nutrition and agriculture at the center of his speech, identifying that, despite concrete achievements of the common agricultural policy especially in removing trade distortions and safeguarding income and cohesion targets, more needs to be done: “Environmental and climate change challenges require a better link of support to specific objectives, a stronger reliance on knowledge, innovation, and greater flexibility in implementation of policy measures.”
Chief Economist and Head of Analysis and Trends in food safety at the World Food Program of the United Nations, Italy, Dr. Arif Husain, spoke about global synergies in order to achieve sustainable development. He emphasized that we can achieve a hunger free world by 2030 but not without peace: “Conflict feeds hunger and hunger feeds conflict.”
Dr. Bert Rürup, President of the Handelsblatt Research Institute and Chief Economist of the Handelsblatt, presented the guests of this year’s FUTURE FOOD FORUM with a fact book containing the most important facts and arguments concerning world nutrition. Using graphics to explain the subject of nutrition, it provides a broad readership easy access to this complex subject for the first time. Although information graphics and plausible statistics alone cannot cover the whole issue of world nutrition exhaustively, they do provide a serious basis for a fruitful discussion about practical solutions.
Other top-class speakers at the international FUTURE FOOD FORUM included Dr. Heike Baumüller Senior Researcher, Department for Economic and Technological Change, Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF), Martina Fleckenstein, Policy Manager Food, WWF International, Dr. Ariane Borgstedt, Head of Global Project Green Innovation Centers, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, as well as Dr. Debisi Araba, Regional Director Africa, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Kenya, and Dr. Harald Grethe Agricultural Economist, Humboldt University Berlin.
In addition, the food industry of tomorrow was discussed in a startup & business slam, moderated by Fabio Ziemßen, Director of Food Innovation, NX-FOOD (Metro AG). Here, Robert Waweru, Country Director at Parker Randall Eastern Africa, Uganda, Thomas Heuer, CEO of desertfoods, Riazuddin Kawsar and Lionel Born, General Managers of Spacenus GmbH , as well as Gunnar Mühlstädt, CEO of MINT Engineering GmbH presented their innovative projects for the food security of tomorrow.
The FUTURE FOOD FORUM is organized by K+S Aktiengesellschaft every two years on World Food Day and brings players from international politics, business and science together. The focus is on how the fight against hunger can be managed even more effectively and how the agriculture and food sector has to contribute with modern production methods and functioning local distribution channels.
Global hunger should be overcome by 2030 according to the “Zero Hunger” target issued by the UN. As a producer of fertilizers, K+S sees itself as part of the solution for this, because the fertilizers produced by K+S, on the basis of the potash and magnesium minerals, enable a considerable increase in yield when used in a balanced way. This will be more important than ever before, because by 2050, the per capita arable land will fall by almost a third, according to the forecasts of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization FAO. Farmers worldwide are therefore called upon to make the best possible use of the available land to produce sufficient food for a steadily growing world population.
More information about the FUTURE FOOD FORUM as well as press photos are available at www.future-food-forum.de.
K+S is a customer-focused, independent minerals company for the Agriculture, Industry, Consumers, and Communities segments and wants to grow the EBITDA to € 3 billion by 2030. Our approximately 15,000 employees enable farmers to provide nutrition for the world, solutions that keep industries going, improve daily life for consumers and provide safety in winter. We continually meet the growing demand for mineral products from production sites in Europe, North and South America as well as a worldwide sales network. We strive for sustainability because we are deeply committed to our responsibilities to people, the environment, the communities and the economy in the regions in which we operate. Learn more about K+S at www.k-plus-s.com.