The Challenge of Change Commission, established by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), last year, has released a report identifying solutions for the global food system. The APLU convened the commission to examine challenges to food security and make recommendations on the actions required by public research universities to meet global food needs by 2050. The group is comprised of prominent university, government, non-governmental organizations, and business leaders.
“The world’s food system is broken yet demand [for food] is increasing at a record pace,” said North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson, who served as Chair of the Challenge of Change Commission. “We can’t just grow our way out of this global crisis. Issues of infrastructure, food safety, distribution and more must be addressed as part of a long-term, sustainable solution if we are to effectively address global hunger.”
The report focuses on both domestic and global production and non-production issues related to feeding the world sustainably by 2050. It highlights seven challenges for solving global food and nutrition insecurity and details the steps that public research universities, along with partners, must take to address them.
The challenges are to increase yields, profitability, and environmental sustainability simultaneously; develop the varieties and breeds needed for sustainable food systems; decrease food loss and waste through more efficient distribution systems; create and share resources that serve all populations; ensure inclusive and equitable food systems; address the dual burdens of undernutrition and obesity to ensure full human potential; and ensure a safe and secure food supply that protects and improves public health.
These issues are multidimensional and multinational, and solving them will require coordinated contributions from multiple areas of expertise in both the public and private sectors. The 34 Commission members included Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg, university leaders, subject matter experts, and current and former private and public sector officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In addition to the Commission members, more than 100 individuals from universities, the public and private sector, and non-governmental organizations were engaged in the project as members of interdisciplinary working groups or expert advisors. Similarly, more than 75 organizations were invited to provide comment and feedback throughout the process.