Like many other market sectors, the AgriFood industry is facing some major changes. For instance, what impact do climate change and the growing scarcity of natural resources have on arable and livestock farming? And can technology help to solve the problems? In what way will global consumer needs change in the next ten years and what will that mean for the food chain?
In the publication ‘Futures of food provision’, we examine the possible changes in the AgriFood industry on the basis of four future scenarios. These scenarios are based on views about disruptions in the European AgriFood industry, from more than twenty stakeholders.
Please see below for more information on the four future scenarios and the corresponding opportunities and threats. You can also download the publication here.
In the 'food for all' scenario, the Western diet of meat, grain, milk and soft drinks is adopted globally. Yields increase using Agtech and smart and precision farming, providing the global population with plentiful food. Abundance decreases food prices. There will be a unprecedented spate of acquisitions driving consolidation in the AgriFood industry.
The 'leading the diversified field' scenario shows how organic, sustainably sourced and healthy foods gain market share, spurred by retailers and millennials globally. Agrifood companies utilise new technologies such as smart and indoor farming to produce sufficient organic, sustainable and healthy foods to feed the global population.
And finally, in the 'renationalisation' scenario, food supply is highly volatile due to climate change and resource scarcity. Competition for food increases as the majority of the population demands high protein and high calorie food. Food producers in many poorer states become state-owned or quasi-state-owned enterprises. In other states, the control of food supply is concentrated in the hands of a few powerful conglomerates where economies of scale and the scale to adapt to changing environmental pressures are key.
In the 'two-tier production' scenario, consumers globally are interested in organic, sustainably sourced, healthy foods as well. But as climate change and resource scarcity impact the global food supply, food prices rise. For those who can afford it, microproduction will predominate: healthy food from local sources, niche players and ‘grow your own’solutions. For everyone else, food will become basic. The AgriFood industry will be highly differentiated, with several large multinationals and a lot of niche and local players.
AgriFood businesses might be impacted differently by these scenarios. New opportunities will rise, and other scenarios might prove challenging. Could AgriFood companies survive and thrive in these future scenarios? They will need a coherent strategy that aligns external market positioning and internal capabilities.