Defining tomorrow's food today

rethink sustainability

Defining tomorrow's food today

Between food waste, persistent hunger and increases in obesity rates, what we put on our plates today is never far from discussion. And with advances in technology and the constant quest to be more health conscious, what is on our plates tomorrow is of growing concern.

How we eat in the future was the subject of the fourth Lombard Odier women's breakfast which was held recently in our offices in Paris. At the centre of the morning's discussions were three experts who gave their insights on what the coming years hold for how we will be eating.


An industry challenged

Ingrid Nouhaud from Lombard Odier's asset management division detailed the challenges the food industry faces. With a world population that is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, agriculture is increasingly focusing on quantity rather than quality, creating problems for environmental protection.

"If waste was a country, it would be the third most CO2 emitting country," she said. "We will not be able to feed humanity without changing the way we consume"

Solutions are available however - limiting chemical fertilisers, digital agriculture and the use of alternative foods to feed livestock or farmed fish.


The roundabout way

Another solution comes through the circular economy, according to Riadh Shaiek, a partner at Demeter who is in charge of investment projects related to the environment. He highlighted companies such as Regrained, which recycles grain residues used in beer brewing and Imperfect Produce, an American firm that supplies ugly or poorly graded fruits and vegetables at prices far below those in supermarkets.

Shaiek said consumers are increasingly demanding better traceability of food products. A series of scandals and the lack of transparency around production chains have caused consumers to lose confidence in brands, distributors and other actors in the agri-food sector. One company which has set out to resolve this problem is Connecting Food, a French firm which uses blockchain technology to track and certify food products, in real time and in a tamper-proof way.

…Consumers are increasingly demanding better traceability of food products. A series of scandals and the lack of transparency around production chains have caused consumers to lose confidence in brands, distributors and other actors in the agri-food sector.

Focusing on what is behind food

Maïa Baudelaire, a former professional in the food industry currently promoting her own slimming method, said better nutrition was under increasing focus. She described the French start-up Yuka, which can check the benefits of products via a barcode scan and an app as "a revolution for the consumer". Another company, Olygose, develops a molecule from peas to replace the sugar found in several products such as sweetened drinks, she said.

In order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, a global partnership is crucial to help the agri-food system shift towards sustainable production and consumption, to achieve human health, food and nutrition security as well as the safeguarding of our ecosystems.

A redefinition of how we consume is essential, let’s invest in our future.

Important information

This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

Read more.