SDG 2: Sustainable Food Production
Sustainable Development Goal 2 is aimed at ending hunger, achieving food security, improved nutrition and sustainable food production by 2030. Globally, 815 million people in the world are hungry or malnourished and vast majority of them are living in developing countries, where almost 13% of the population is undernourished. Since world’s population is expected to increase to 9.6 billion by 2050, demand for food will also grow exponentially. At the same time, more than third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted.
Food production is wasting enormous amounts of land, water and energy. Conventional monoculture system is promoting the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers, threatening biodiversity and soil health, and creating a number of environmental and health risks. Climate change, droughts and flooding are putting even more pressure on our precious natural resources. According to the UNEP study, agricultural production accounts for a staggering 70% of the global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use, and 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. World’s food system is currently unsustainable, or, as many call it – broken.
Agriculture’s enormous energy consumption is related not only to food production, but also in large part to food distribution. Since food is constantly being transported thousands of miles to reach consumers, that is reflected in its environmental footprint. Buying local seasonal food can be an important first step in contributing to sustainable food systems and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. However, that is proving to be increasingly difficult, especially in urban areas. Different socioeconomic factors have driven many grocery stores out of the city and into the suburbs. Many people are now living in so-called food deserts, meaning more than one mile from the nearest supermarket in urban or suburban areas and more than 10 miles from a supermarket in rural area.
Buying locally has become quite a movement in the last few decades. Sourcing locally-grown food and supporting small food producers means not only lowering our environmental footprint – or foodprint – it is also stimulating local economy and benefitting the community as a whole. For the last three decades, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local and seasonal food directly from producers. In CSA, consumers subscribe to the harvest of a certain farm or group of farms, and in return they receive a box of produce and other farm goods on weekly or monthly basis. The idea is based on solidarity, trust and establishing lasting partnerships between farmers and consumers. It presents an alternative to conventional systems of food production and distribution, a part of movement towards locally based agriculture and food production that is beneficial to community's social and economic development.
Community Supported Agriculture groups, together with farmer’s markets, consumer cooperatives, ecovillages and alternative food stores, are all manifestations of movement towards more sustainable civic agriculture. Sociologist Thomas Lyson coined the term civic agriculture because these transformations are starting from the bottom, using knowledge, information and networks directly from the community, not institutions.
If you want to find out more, please visit:
IOFAM: Community Supported Agriculture
URGENCI: The international network for community supported agriculture
Food and Agriculture Organization
World Food Programme
Zero Hunger Challenge
Think.Eat.Save. Reduce your foodprint.
Author: Marina Tomić (The Croatian Institute for CSR)