Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
June, 23rd 2009

It’s obvious that major stresses are appearing in the global food supply (i.e., recalls, price spikes, global hunger and high levels of waste), and that core trends such as climate change, population growth, and changing consumption patterns will likely exacerbate these stresses. While the world currently produces enough food to feed the global population 1 billion people go to sleep hungry each day. At the same time, one in three Americans over 20 is obese, and current agricultural practices are widely viewed as unsustainable. After years of increasing yields, falling food costs and record crops, we are facing a truly global food crisis.

It is tempting for governments and businesses to view these events and trends through a polarized filter, seeing only the impact to one’s own country or operations. The notion of food security has come to mean ensuring enough food for one’s own population, whatever the cost. Wealthy, water starved nations are acquiring vast tracts of farm land around the globe to ensure access to food, and concerned governments increasingly resort to curbing exports when food prices spike. At the same time we seem to be deluged with high profile product recalls as the highly processed nature of the food we eat and the complex global supply chain becomes more challenging to monitor and manage. And we are hearing more demands for greater inspection of the food supply.

These approaches are mostly short sighted and often selfish and don’t address the underlying issues within the food value chain. So, what’s needed? A more holistic and pragmatic approach that ensures the safety of the food we produce, the sustainability of the practices we use to raise and process it, and the security of the overall food supply from macro level threats such as climate change.

Smarter food policies at the government level will ensure a more equitable and rational allocation of resource and sustainable production of food – critically important as climate change forces major shifts in how and where crops are grown. Smarter supply chains will tackle issues like food waste and spoilage (estimated at 40-50% of all food), and reduce out of stock at retail that currently cost the consumer goods industry 2.5% of sales.

A growing number of online conversations and events are focused on these issues, bringing together key stakeholders to engage in frank discussions about problems, solutions, costs and benefits. But given the gravity of the challenge we face – 1 billion additional people on the planet by 2020 – the window for talking is exceedingly small, and the time for bold action is now.

IBM will be tackling these issues at a forum tomorrow in Washington, D.C., bringing together policy makers, food industry experts, manufacturers and retailers to discuss the future of food safety and quality and to share views on how we can make significant improvements for consumer safety and confidence, the food industry and the world. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ibmfoodDC.

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January 23, 2016
5:48 am

Wow ! This could be one of the most useful blogs we have ever come across on thesubject. Actually excellent info !

Posted by: venus factor
November 10, 2011
7:14 pm

You made some decent points there. I looked on the web for the problem and located most people will associate with together with your website.

Posted by: pc repair miami
June 26, 2009
1:40 pm

Expanding knowledge among the citizens how the land can be used in natural way without ANY usage of artificial energy source or mechanical tools is a key issue. Connection with Earth is the most basic aspect of human nature. People from big agglomerations are lost and helpless because of lack connection with the Land.

We would lie ourselves and be very naive thinking that technology is a resolution for every our problem – even more: such thinking is a great thread and danger for the most innocent tribes on our planet as we seeing most recently how the communities are suffering droughts and climate change effects. One that drive a car now should feel a bit guilty for taking living space from others. And such loss cannot be rewarded in any possible way! Democracy created conformism, which might effect with devastation and crisis.

So food supplies is my choice. Creating communities of 50-500 people independent from any outside sources. Technology is now able to supply pure energy sources for the village.
The most important now is to create ethics and life style. Do you know that to change the way of people’s thinking is the most difficult thing of all?
Will IBM be able to handle such humorous task?
Well first we need to start from ourselves.

Please check the global organization that is created in so called ‘deep ecology’ spirit. Ecology has new meaning for us, it is spiritual connection with Gaya, our Mother Earth.

Posted by: Jakub Tymowski
June 23, 2009
10:48 pm

This is turning out to be such a great effort, Guy! I know the event in Washington on Wednesday will be groundbreaking in so many ways. What an impressive list of participants who will be there! For those who cannot attend, please keep the conversation going and follow the play-by-play LIVE on Twitter #IBMfoodDC

Posted by: Ralph Jacobson
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June 24, 2009
12:06 am

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