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IATC chief welcomes findings of report on food's future

26 January 2011

The director of the International Agri-Technology Centre (IATC), Phillipa David, has welcomed the Government Office for Science's report entitled 'The Future of Food & Farming: challenges and choices for global sustainability'

Ms Davids emphasises that the report highlights well the issues facing those trying to feed the world. It also shows a clear need for the type of technology that UK firms can offer, she
added.

The report explores how pressures on global food production will rise between now and 2050. This needs to be considered to feed a population, which could be set to rise to nine billion, both sustainably and fairly.

Ms David said: "This report indicates that policy makers must act now to ensure that not only food is available, but also that it is affordable. This is where we believe that the use of UK technology and expertise related to food production is essential, especially with global issues of limited water and land availability for growing crops."

Also backed by Ms David is the report's stance on adapting new technologies in developing countries. "We believe that the use of new technology is essential, but it is vital that the cost of not employing it must also be understood by those planning ahead. The use of technology in food production and security in both the UK and Europe is often taken for granted, but in developing countries it is cannot be assumed that it will be accepted or indeed function appropriately."

Another concern over future food production, and in order to meet greater demands in the coming decades, is the reduction of waste, and the IATC believes this is an area where UK technology expertise can contribute. With today's report citing that around 30 per cent of food grown is wasted before or after it reaches the consumer, with some estimates putting this figure at nearer 50 per cent, using even basic food preservation and technology to reduce post-harvest waste is now essential practice, commented Ms David.



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