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Hungry Planet Revisited

Neville White
By Neville White Head of SRI Policy and Research July 2018
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Hungry Planet Revisited

Amity Insight: Hungry Planet Revisited

Amity Insight: Hungry Planet Revisited This is our 31st Amity Insight and a sister publication to Thirsty Planet Revisited, which came out in 2017. Since 2008, when we published our first Insight on cocoa, we have striven to be thought leaders in socially responsible investment, providing clients with topical and incisive research on the most important ESG issues. This is all part of our ‘Profit with Principles’ commitment.

Back in 2012, when Hungry Planet was first published, we observed how rising population ‘is going to place unprecedented strain on the global food supply chain, impacting the lives of billions of people’. We see no reason to change that bleak outlook, however in Hungry Planet Revisited, we explore some new drivers such as technology and artificial intelligence which hold out the prospect of improving production. We also look at the expected impact of climate change on food, and the significant contribution that can be made by reducing food waste.

As usual we look at the investment value chain via five investible themes. We believe one solution to the acute supply-demand imbalance is greater access to mechanisation, and we feature this as a case study.

The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Risk Landscape places extreme weather events as the number one global risk in terms of likelihood and number two in terms of impact. As we show, estimates of cropland reduction vary from 10-50% as a result of extreme weather events. There is now thought to be a one in 20 chance per decade that heat, drought and flood will cause a simultaneous failure in maize production in both China and the US; the world’s two main sources. This would result in widespread famine
and population displacement. The challenges are high, but we point to real solutions where there are opportunities for the responsible investor.

As ever we hope you enjoy reading this Insight, and welcome your feedback.

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