War in Ukraine, heat wave and drought: food security is increasingly threatened on a global scale. According to expert Clément Maclou, rising prices and shortages will have serious economic and social consequences.
Global warming and the increase in extreme phenomena directly jeopardize access to sufficient food in quantity and quality. And the problem does not stop at cereals, foodstuffs already impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.
“In the United States, cotton production has been badly affected. Prices have been rising for nine months. Also in the United States, rice cultivation is also under pressure, as are the vines. The cattle industry is also suffering, with these quite shocking images of thousands of dead cattle due to the heat wave in recent days,” said Clément Maclou on Wednesday in La Matinale.
The latter manages a fund dedicated to nutrition at the ODDO BHF bank. He notes that the rise in prices has already started, even if it remains relatively contained in our country. “There are not yet so many shortages in Switzerland either. At European level, producers and manufacturers are quite agile. They are able to switch from one raw material to another, such as sunflower oil which can be replaced by rapeseed oil.”
Diversify the diet
Declining production is a global issue. “On such a large scale, the consequences are major, at the economic, demographic and social level. I am thinking in particular of migration, with the millions of people who will move for food reasons. This will result in an increase in unemployment”, predicts Clément Maclou.
To get out of the impasse, the agri-food industry must “rethink its mode of operation”, assures the expert. He mentions in particular the contribution of new technologies, such as vertical agriculture or laboratory production.
Consumers are also called upon to change their habits. “In particular, we should move from an animal-based diet to a more plant-based diet. Above all, our diet should be more diversified. Today, 75% of our proteins come from five animal species and twelve plant species. It’s extremely concentrated, we should have a plate with more colors.”
Interview by Eric Guevara-Frey/gma