One of the most significant challenges currently facing humankind is to make enough food, for an active healthy lifestyle, available to a population which will probably rise beyond 9 billion within the next 30 to 40 years.
Extra food must be produced against a changing climate and with reduced use of a range of resources required for crop production, nearly all of which are already in short supply (land, water, fertilisers, energy, labour). As economies in many countries grow, people want to eat more and they want to eat differently, often aspiring to a more meat-rich and resource-demanding diet. More and more people now live in cities and these social changes constitute significant challenges for those committed to supplying more good quality food to more people.
There are many factors that combine to impact food availability and the access that people have to food. Food production is prominent among these factors but we can also feed more people if we distribute food more effectively and waste less food. In addition, there is much concern over the deleterious effects of the food production system on the environment and we must work to make more food available in an environmentally responsible fashion.
In recognition of the importance of the challenges faced in providing food in a sustainable way, Lancaster University, in partnership with Waitrose, has developed a Professional Training Programme: Food Challenges for the 21st Century.