Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production
Our earth is experiencing a dramatic increase in world population. In 1900 there were just 1.6 billion people on earth, now the world’s population already exceeds 7 billion. The United Nations estimates this number will reach 10 billion in 2050. As a result of worldwide achievements in agricultural productivity through industrialisation and improved farming practices we produce more food than ever before.
Yet these efficient production methods have hidden drawbacks: the necessary energy expenditure is immense, the extensive use of artificial fertilisers, manure, pesticides and antibiotics strains the environment as well as affected people’s health. Farmland has long been viewed as a speculative commodity, often “fought” over in the most literal sense of the word, and 800 million people are still threatened by starvation worldwide.
The 2013 Langenburg Forum brought back into focus what sustainable food production without the exploitation of natural resources, agro-industrial products, and global value chains, and with regional economic cycles and ecological business practices could look like.
With this in mind, what are the shared interests of farmers, manufacturing companies and food retailers, environmental and consumer protection organisations and politics? And what conflicts of interest must be addressed through regulation to make sustainable (agricultural) business competitive? And how can the average consumer be successfully convinced healthy and sustainably produced foods are worth their price?
The Langeburg Forum aims to answer these questions, fuel discussion between the various interest groups and present best practice examples, including model projects from the flagship organic agriculture region of Hohenlohe.