A Sustainable Future for Food

4th February 2021

For the past 60 years food waste, overfishing and an explosion in protein consumption have put unsustainable pressure on the natural world.  Ironically, the overproduction and overconsumption of food have led to extensive environmental damage, which now threatens our future food security.

A new report written by McKinsey and Company outlines the measures needed to correct the imbalance and highlights the digital and advanced technologies that will lead the charge.  The report looks at a number of focus areas:


Responsible for more than one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases, agriculture has the most opportunity to limit the impact of global warming.  McKinsey details the top three measures needed from the agriculture industry to reduce its impact on the environment.  

  1. Zero Emissions Farm Equipment – A shift from traditional fossil-fuel-powered equipment (tractors, harvesters, dryers) to the new generation of electric and battery-powered machinery
  2. Animal Health Monitoring – meeting the protein needs for human consumption with fewer, healthier, low methane-producing livestock
  3. Focused Breeding – genetic breeding programs to produce livestock that produces low or no greenhouse gases

Food Waste

It is estimated that approximately one-third of all food that is produced for human consumption is wasted. With advancements in artificial intelligence, researchers are discovering a circular agricultural system which ‘designs out’ food waste.  Harnessing AI, efficient farming practices can eliminate the need for expensive, damaging field trials, reducing time and waste.AI enabled supermarkets can sell produce before its use-by dates.  And in the final cycle, all surplus food can be repurposed for use in regenerative food systems.

Sustainable Fisheries

Decades of overfishing has had the devastating result of a depleted ocean. Not only has this cost the ocean its delicate and vital eco-balance, but it has also cost the fishing industry.  It is now estimated to take 5 times longer to haul a catch as it did 50 years ago.  Precision fishing, using advanced analytics, is the answer to a more profitable and sustained fishing industry.  

Science and technology will be the key to a sustainable future food supply.  Where food production on land and sea work efficiently and effectively to secure food supply for humans, and protect a healthy environment.

To read the full report from McKinsey and Company, click on the link below


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