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Future Proof Kilkenny

Fossil fuel depletion, climate change, diminishing soil and water resources and population growth present an unprecedented threat to global food security. To address these challenges every country in the world needs a future food plan.

This year the UK Soil Association’s Annual Conference was called “Transition: Food and Farming in 21st century Britain” and coincided with the publication of a report called “An inconvenient truth about food”.

The report examines the current status of UK food security in relation to peak oil, peak fertiliser, water stress and climate change. The report explains that the resilience and reliability of the global food system has been called into question for the following reasons:

  • Rising demand for animal feed to supply growing meat consumption by increasingly affluent populations in China and other developing nations.
  • Competition for use of grains, 20% of US maize crop in 2006 diverted to biofuel.
  • Coinciding poor harvests among key exporters, 2007 Australian drought halved wheat harvest
  • Commodity price speculation, linked to fall in value of the dollar in which commodities are traded.
  • Historically low levels of world food reserve stocks adding to sense of vulnerability; pressured further by individual nations like China restocking low grain reserves.
  • Export restrictions by producer countries Argentina, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan affecting one-third of the world market wheat supply.
  • Input costs, notably fertilisers, rising in tandem with the price of oil.

You can read the full report here.

You can hear podcasts and view presentations from the Soil Association conference here.

You can review a presentation that Patrick Holden, Director of the Soil Association, made by video-conference at the recent Terra Madre conference in Waterford, here.

2 Comments to “An inconvenient truth about food”

  1. […] It is a useful and concise document explaining peak oil and should be of interest to anyone working within our local authority especially in the area of transport and planning. One criticism I have about the report is that it fails to mention the impact that declining oil supply will have on our food supply. You can read more about that here. […]

  2. […] available for download here and is a good companion to the recent Soil Association publication “An inconvenient truth about food” and the recent BBC documentary “A Farm for the Future”. Excellent resources for raising […]

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