Food security is the state achieved when sufficient food of adequate quality is consistently available to meet consumer demand at affordable prices.
The EBRD believes that a strong and productive private sector is vital for increasing both market supply and the efficiency of global food production and distribution. Our Private Sector for Food Security Initiative seeks to overcome constraints to supply and efficiency through investments, policy dialogue and coordinating action with our partners.
The world is living in an era of food security challenges. No one is likely to be immune from the consequences of our success or failure to develop markets, logistics infrastructure and the technology to provide more people with more of the food they require.
Population growth and higher incomes will contribute to a predicted 50-70 per cent increase in food demand by 2050. Diet quality is also changing, with increasing levels of protein consumption to be satisfied in the near future.
Food supply is under pressure. Climate change, water scarcity and the cost of energy heighten the uncertainty about the future. Urbanisation and lack of investment are also hampering growth in supply. Structural vulnerabilities in agricultural and food systems in the EBRD region remain a challenge.
There are numerous ways the countries where the EBRD invests can have an impact on global food security. The Black Sea region has enormous potential to produce and export more and to benefit net food importers in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. Furthermore, countries across the Western Balkans, eastern Europe and the Caucasus have a valuable opportunity to raise their food quality and safety standards, which will improve supply to both local and higher-value export markets such as the European Union.
Investments, public-private policy dialogue and innovation are needed to fulfil such regional potential. The private sector can play a decisive role in helping bridge the growing divide between demand and supply and thereby guarantee global food security.