Food security

One of the world’s most pressing issues

Today, about 800 million people go without sufficient food. As a company dedicated to nourishing people, Cargill is committed to increasing food security around the world. Food security exists when all people have access to sufficient amounts of safe, nutritious and affordable food to provide the foundation for active and healthy lives. Food security is a complex problem given interconnections and interdependencies in a global food system that is fundamentally dependent on soil, precipitation and water availability, climate and a host of services the earth provides and at the same time influenced significantly by trade, urbanization, changing demographics, and energy, water and land use policy.

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Increasing urgency

Food and nutrition security affects human health and welfare, as well as economic and political stability. As the world’s population grows and becomes more affluent, food production will need to increase. Initiatives, such as the G8 New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition and the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture, are raising global awareness of the need to improve food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity through agriculture. Special attention is being directed to increase food security in Africa through the Grow Africa partnership and collaboration with G8 leaders aimed at accelerating sustainable investment in African agriculture. The African Union has declared 2014 the 'year of agriculture' to address the challenges of hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty across the continent. Around the world, the effects of weather-related supply shocks on food commodities persist, as does discussion about the future impact of climate change on agriculture.

Working to feed the world

The Challenge. Undernourishment, population growth and income growth – along with climate change and water scarcity – together pose significant challenges to achieving global food security.     

The Issues. Major obstacles to food security include extreme poverty, inadequate food distribution, supply disruptions, food waste, government policies that inhibit trade and negatively affect farmers, growth of biofuels, environmental impact, growing resistance to the use of some agricultural technology and price volatility.

Solutions & Responses. Cargill believes food security can be improved by honoring comparative advantage, enabling open markets, supporting smallholder farmers, enabling Africa to realize its food production potential, reforming biofuels mandates, leveraging technology, improving nutrition, fostering cooperation between public and private sectors, and encouraging agricultural investment.

Cargill’s Role. Cargill is committed to nourishing the world’s growing population while at the same time protecting the planet; expanding access to food, improving nutrition and pursuing partnerships to end hunger; advocating for policies that let markets work and enable farmers to thrive; and increasing agricultural productivity and incomes while ensuring responsible use of natural resources.

Our PerspectiveCargill believes the world will be able to feed its growing population. We are optimistic that sufficient food can be produced to meet the needs of an increasingly prosperous world through the resilience and adaptation of farmers; the use of technology to improve yields sustainably; and the effectiveness of market-based approaches.