Global Food System Carbon Footprint Will Worsen, Transition To ‘Plant-Based Food Inevitable’ Says Credit Suisse Report


By Sally Ho, Green Queen (HK)

Jun 9, 2021


In a new report on the investment case for a sustainable food system, analysts say that the plant-based food transition is “inevitable” and will bring about new opportunities for investors and businesses across the food supply chain. Released by the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI), the report also identified the wider alternative protein industry, sustainable packaging and novel farming technologies as key sectors poised for growth, predicting that the meat and dairy food replacements sector will grow 100 times by 2050.


Researchers at Credit Suisse believe that there are ample opportunities to be made as the world shifts towards a sustainable food system, in a new report published on Tuesday (June 8). The report, which examines the discrepancies between food production, food waste, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrition and health crises, estimates that these interrelated issues in the current food system amount to losses of US$13.6 trillion every year.


“Food production, and importantly consumption, needs to change significantly in order to address these challenges,” wrote the analysts, highlighting the rapidly growing carbon budget that the food system is set to take up in the coming years as the world’s population grows.


Already, food production and consumption makes up 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the bulk of which is driven by animal agriculture and food waste. As the planet approaches 10 billion people by 2050, food-related emissions are set to increase from current levels by 46% while land use will rise by 49%, which is “incompatible with the need to achieve a  net-zero emission environment globally” by then. Existing food distribution problems will also be exacerbated without drastic change, with still 700 million people currently considered malnourished while nearly 40% of the adult population globally are overweight or obese...


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