More than half the world's population lives in a city – in Europe the proportion is as high as 75 per cent – and that share is rising. In 2050, more than three-quarters of the nine billion people inhabiting the earth will be located in cities. This global urbanisation will lead to issues regarding food supply: How will we produce and distribute sufficient and varied food for and to these urban populations in a healthy and responsible manner?
To provide metropolises with quality food in an efficient and durable way requires a sustainable food cluster: from production to consumption, from logistics to supply chain, from producer to supermarket, and from regional to global. This requires coordination and organisation within and between all links in the chain. Various questions are involved in this alignment: How can healthy food be produced and distributed properly? Where is the best place for production? Given climate change, how do we achieve climate-smart production and climate-smart cities? Can new genetic or ICT technologies play a role in this? How do we encourage balanced food choices and reduce food waste? Answering these questions will lead to a new approach to the food cluster, accompanied by new governance mechanisms, supply chain & business models, and, possibly, a new division between public and private responsibilities.
Wageningen Economic Research helps decision makers from governments and industry explore issues related to both individual links and the cluster as a whole. Using our policy analyses & impact studies, forecasting, supply chain & consumer research, competitive analysis and monitoring systems, we make it possible for directors and management to make informed decisions.