WASHINGTON, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Global Food Security Symposium today, Cargill Executive Chairman Greg Page urged attendees to be mindful of four principles that can help ensure all people have access to safe, affordable and nutritious food.
Noting the symposium's focus on leveraging the global food system to fight malnutrition and improve health, Page said Cargill has a role to play in ensuring access to enough food for the undernourished and in bringing healthier foods to the market to help improve diets and health.
"There are four things we ought to be mindful of when we think about creating a more food-secure world," said Page. His "ought to's" include:
- Appreciating the importance of price
- Honoring the principle of comparative advantage
- Embracing the power of emulation
- Ensuring society's comfort with the science of producing food
On the importance of price, Page said we need to appreciate the value of prices to signal the world's farmers what to produce. "We saw this in 2012 when, in the face of a severe drought in the U.S. Midwest, prices motivated farmers from South America and Central Europe to increase production, ultimately mitigating the drought's impact on global food production and ensuring people's access to safe, affordable, nutritious food," said Page.
He said it will also be increasingly important to honor the principle of comparative advantage in food production. "To produce the food the world will need in the most economically and environmentally sustainable way, we need agriculture and trade policies that encourage farmers to cultivate the crops best suited for their growing conditions and then trade the surpluses with others," said Page.
Page also said that the cumulative effects of individual behaviors can be a powerful force for improving food security and fighting malnutrition. "The Chicago Council's Healthy Food for a Healthy World report acknowledges the power of emulation in its findings that women – in part because of their influence over their families' diets – will be critically important to combatting malnutrition," said Page.
Expanding on this point, Page said food industry leaders need to enlist and engage consumers in understanding the role of science in the food system, both nutritionally and environmentally. "Science and technology are important not only to producing more food in a more sustainable way, but also to our ability to improve food safety, reduce food waste and make food more nutritious and healthful," he said.
"Finding solutions to end hunger and reverse the consequences of poor nutrition requires trust, transparency and collaboration," said Page. "We look forward to being part of this important work."
About Cargill and food security
As a company dedicated to being the global leader in nourishing people, Cargill is working to address the complex challenge of feeding the world while at the same time protecting the planet. Cargill advocates for policies that let markets work and enable farmers to thrive; helps expand access to food, improves nutrition and pursues partnerships to end hunger; and works to increase agricultural productivity and incomes while ensuring responsible use of natural resources. Over the last five years, Cargill has contributed more than $83 million worldwide to reduce hunger and improve nutrition. Learn more about our perspective on the global food system, food security and sustainability at foodsecureworld.
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 152,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.