Now that some parts of the world are shut off, logistics are disrupted and some international trade has come to a standstill, people are being forced to reconsider what has previously seemed so natural; they’re increasingly realizing that the import and export of fruit, vegetables and meat can’t be taken for granted when a crisis like this occurs.
It is still possible to import and export products in the current situation, but one thing is certain: governments, businesses, consumers and growers have been troubled for a while. Imagine that food is no longer available on an unlimited basis and the supermarkets have to tailor their offering to what is available locally at that time. What then? These questions automatically lead us to question the current economic system. Is it really logical to import beans to the Netherlands when they are also grown in the Netherlands? And why is the industry still so concerned with breeding vegetable varieties that have a longer shelf life when we now have the technological means to grow all year round, anywhere in the world, in all weather conditions? This crisis is creating opportunities in all areas to radically change the current system.
Local food production, less pressure on healthcare
More and more governments are realizing the need for local food production and have seen how things can go wrong when society is dependent on food from overseas. In recent years, there has been insufficient focus on the production of healthy food close to where people live, which makes the current infrastructure anything but sustainable. In order to improve this, governments, local councils, architects, urban planners, entrepreneurs and private individuals must be inspired to come up with a new way of thinking – one in which urban development creates space for the production of food to feed the local population. The knife cuts both ways. Making food production ever-more sustainable results in healthier diets, which in turn means that people are stronger and less susceptible to disease. As a result, this reduces the pressure on healthcare.