Climate Change and Market Volatility: A global overview of Policy Actions to build resilient food systems 

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IMG_3730Today, Farm Europe hosted a debate on how Climate Change is impacting agriculture and food system

in a world experiencing more instable and volatile markets.

Food production has become very interdependent and supply side shocks due to draught, disease, severe climate events and lately climate change contribute to a high degree of volatility on output. On the demand side political instability, population growth, economic development in emerging markets and advanced economies, change in dietary habits and financial problems are key factors. The result is increased volatility with consequent effect on agricultural prices, producer’s income and consumer prices leading to political and social unrest.

What is our response? And, specifically, how main worldwide agricultural regions and notably Europe should respond to one of the most crucial challenges that the world will face in the coming decades? 

This one, alongside other key questions about how it will be possible to establish a sustainable agricultural and food systems were thoroughly addressed by panelists and participants.

Farm Europe’s event started with the presentation of a very innovative study on the ”Food Chain Reaction: A Global Food Security Game” which, in November 2015, gathered 65 thought leaders and policy makers from several countries in Washington, D.C. This project, to which Farm Europe had the pleasure to participate, revealed the different approaches toward agri-food systems at global level in the context of Climate Change, through a simulation of a real global food crisis caused by population growth, rapid urbanisation, extreme weather, and political turmoil. The exercise put the issue of food security at the forefront of a global conversation and teams were able to see firsthand via the simulation what the future of food security could look like in an increasingly volatile world.

Farm Europe’s discussion was then opened and fuelled by Farm Europe’s Senior Fellow Lars Hoelgaard, alongside with Patrice de Laurens from the French Ministry of Agriculture, Joost Korte, DDG at the European Commission, Joe Stone, President at Cargill Animal Nutrition and Jeff Malcolm, Director at WWF – sponsor of the Global Food Security Game.

Overall, from panelists’ comments two clear concepts came out:

  1. At the end of the day, in this volatile context, Climate change and Food security challenges are common. Accordingly, decision makers have to build ambitious policy answers, not independently, but in a collaborative way, by taking into account political and economic interconnections in a ever more globalised world.
  2. There is no single solution, no “silver bullet”. The key lesson is that these issues need to be addressed in an integrated manner across all sector