Contribution of trade to agriculture and energy sustainability

  1. In the context of growing population and accordingly the ecological foot step to the environment, sustainability of agriculture and energy is getting one of the central issues for development.

  2. Agriculture and food production are using substantial share of natural resources: 70% of the water and 40% of the energy. To meet the demands of population growth the food production has to increase by at least 50% to 2050.

  3. Scarcity of water is well understood especially in regions with water shortage. Soil fertility loss problems however are often underestimated. Soil fertility loss is a severe problem in most regions of agricultural production, scarcity of fertilizers is sharpening the problems.

  4. At the same time a substantial share of food is wasted in the entire chain from production to consumption, nevertheless only a small portion of wasted agricultural products and food is used for energy generation. Bioenergy generation is still something very unevenly developed in the world and even in Europe.

  5. Today the entire world is connected to the global trade system of food and carriers of bioenergy. The debate of the benefits and costs of the globalised trade is still under hot dispute. Self-sufficiency level in food and energy remains high in the agenda of many governments. 

  6. There are of course very important political aspects. Hence, the economic aspects are still not properly calculated, especially environmental impact and related future costs such as environmental, veterinarian and medical risks.

  7. For instance with advanced food safety we are gradually reducing the natural immune systems and natural protection against diseases. In the same time we are creating allergies of endless types.

  8. Those global issues are important also to the Baltic Sea region and its neighbours in the East. To contribute to facing those problems in better understanding and combating the first step is better understanding through communication. This is the humble ambition of the Agroforum Mare Balticum 2015.