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The true cost of cheap food: A study of food production in 7 countries

In this personally written Nuffield Farming Scholarship report, Robert Craig describes his research journey to explore both the production systems and the consumer values of rapidly developing countries. He set out with the intention to travel far and wide during the study to gain a global perspective of the food production systems and core food values of less developed countries, comparing them with the UK situation. He visited China, India and South America and compared them with two regions/countries that are today very dependent on, and efficient at, producing food from the land: California in the USA and New Zealand.

The questions he sought to answer in his study were::

  • Is it possible from the world’s resources to produce sufficient food to feed a further two billion people?
  • What are the main constraints to producing more food and how do we overcome them?
  • How much of our current food production system is already sustainable? Are truly sustainable farming practices scalable?

Robert highlights some of the insights he gains in his blog-post on Farming Futures, which you can read here. You can download the full report here.

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01 Nov 2013