Delivering. Cargill at work in the global food system.

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Cargill 2014 Annual Report


The global food system is under increasing scrutiny. Yet it has accomplished a great deal. We play an important role in making it work, and we know there is more to do.

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How does the global food system measure up? Over the last 50 years, food has become more plentiful, available and affordable for people around the world due to increasing agricultural productivity and higher yields.

Food is more plentiful.

Production of the 16 crops that form the building blocks of the global food system has more than doubled since 1975, delivering enough calories to outpace the rise in consumption. 

Click to view diagram larger. Global production and consumption of grain, rice and oilseeds. 2014 Cargill Annual Report.

Food is more affordable.

As countries and the global food system have developed, spending on food as a share of total household consumption expenditures has declined markedly in many countries.

Click to view diagram larger. Food as a percent of total household consumption expenditures. 2014 Cargill Annual Report.

Land used for crops is more productive.

The global food system has met rising demand by increasing yields through improved plant genetics, both conventionally bred and genetically engineered, and more intense use of fertilizer – without taking much new land into production.

Click to view diagram larger. Yield and harvested area. 2014 Cargill Annual Report.

Food flows to meet demand.

Only about 16 percent of the world’s food production crosses borders, but it is a vital link in times of local production shortfalls or for countries not blessed with abundant agricultural resources.


Sixteen percent of the world's food production crosses borders. 2014 Cargill Annual Report.


What are the challenges ahead? The global food system will need to feed a world that is more urban, affluent and populous by increasing production in a sustainable and responsible way.

Demand is increasing.

The world’s need for agricultural production – for food, feed and fuel – will continue to grow along with increasing population, urbanization and incomes. 

Demand is increasing. Cargill 2014 Annual Report.

Hunger persists.

Despite progress, 842 million people – about one in eight people in the world – suffer from chronic hunger, not having enough food regularly for an active and healthy life.

Diagram. World population undernourished in 2011-2013. 2014 Cargill Annual Report.

Obesity is more pervasive.

The increase in global obesity since 1980 has been substantial and widespread. Today, 2.1 billion people – nearly 30 percent of the world’s population – are either obese or overweight, and 62 percent of the obese live in developing countries.

Diagram. World population overweight and obese. 2014 Cargill Annual Report.

More efficiency, resiliency required.

The global food system must deliver more calories and better nutrition at even higher levels of efficiency while conserving land, water and energy resources and adapting to a changing climate.

Diagram. More efficiency, resiliency required. 2014 Cargill Annual Report.