World Food Forum
11
JUL
2016

If we really want to feed the world, the food sector in Europe has to change
11 july 2016

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HamerRobert Jan Hamer, Vice-President of R&D Discover Foods and Director of Unilever R&D Vlaardingen, President of FoodNexus Consortium

What role can European food research play in meeting the feeding the planet challenge?
First of all I have to say that the food sector in Europe has to change. If we really want to feed the world, as we all would like to do, and if we want to do it sustainably, that comes with a lot of challenges and all these challenges are basically music to the ears of scientists. They should therefore interpret these challenges because we need to find new ways of protecting crops, we need to find new ways of improving the agricultural production systems, making them more sustainable, making them more robust and resilient.

What is the first step we have to take?
We have to close cycles in nitrogen, in fresh water, in phosphate and much more. There is a treasure chest of challenges for food and agricultural research in Europe and the only thing I can say now is let’s get it started. Let’s start collecting what we have and implementing it and building on that to take the next step in the challenges that we face.

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