A Week of Food Security…in deepest darkest Peru

More than just marmalade will be top of mind for senior New Zealand food industry representatives and the New Zealand Minister for Primary Industries as they travel to Peru next week.

At stake is whether the Asia-Pacific region can meet the growing demand for food.   The International Food Policy Research Institute estimates under present trends 38 million more people around the world could be faced with extreme poverty by 2030.   That requires urgent action by governments as well as food businesses.

Risks to food security arise not just from the world’s rapidly rising population but also from unstable markets, gaps in production, infrastructure and technology and major environmental threats such as climate change.

The need to find solutions to these problems, and with a vision to create durable food security in APEC by 2020, is what brings colleagues from around the region to take part in “APEC Food Security Week” from 23-27 September in Piura.

The New Zealand private-sector group includes ABAC New Zealand representatives Tony Nowell and Stephen Jacobi, Fonterra’s Latin America boss Alex Turnbull, and Sanitarium head Pierre van Heerden.  Meetings in Piura include the APEC Policy Partnership for Food Security (a forum for the public and private sectors), an Executive Dialogue for senior business representatives to engage directly with Ministers on priority food issues, as well as the “Food Security Ministerial Meeting” which Minister Guy will attend along with MPI officials.

Trade has a big role to play in ensuring that people around the region can get adequate access to supplies of nutritious, safe and cost-effective food.   That includes addressing non-tariff barriers which undermine food security by making food trade more expensive or difficult.

Other key discussion points include the potential to enhance both food production and trade flows around the region by using innovative technologies,  the need for greater infrastructure investment; the importance of science-based food regulatory systems, and the potential for the private sector to come up with innovative solutions to the challenges of sustainability.

This post was prepared by NZIBF Associate Director Stephanie Honey.