Marcos Fava Neves
This article addresses the food crisis and its impacts on food chains. There are nine general causes of higher prices: use of grains and agricultural land for biofuels; population growth effects; strong income increase and distribution in emerging economies; urbanization of populations (mega-cities); local government income support programmes; high oil prices; production shortages; dollar devaluation; and investment funds speculation. To face this problem, 10 food chain solutions are proposed: sustainable horizontal expansion in food production using new available areas; vertical expansion increasing productivity; reduction in food taxes; investment in global logistics to reduce waste; use of the best sources for biofuels production; reduction in transaction costs; new generation of cheaper and innovative sources of fertilizers; sustainable supply contracts to farmers for more balanced margins allocation; spreading innovations (GMOs, nanotechnology); and, finally, consumer behaviour changes. The article ends by proposing a 14-point agenda for food chains in the future.