Dear D2D Readers,
We have rounded the corner of the New Year. While we don’t have a crystal ball, we are curious about what the future will hold for food and agriculture as it continues to innovate with new technologies, advances in scientific discoveries, and better information along the value chain from the farmer to the consumer.
Governments and companies are changing the way we address food security, the environment, and consumer health. At D2D, we have covered some of these subjects previously but are now looking harder at how the future will be shaped by those who grow, trade, process, and consume food.
Here are the key questions we see shaping agriculture and our food system in 2022. We’ve included a few links to our previous posts to provide some background information on these topics, but only by exploring ideas can we find meaningful solutions to these challenging questions.
What are the trade implications of Xi and Putin, leaders who are looking for homogamy, to expand their borders through military presence as well as social and economic pressure? What does that mean for tariffs, trade, and agribusiness overall? What food and agriculture imports and exports with the United States prevent them from going too far?
As countries expand their reach to acquire cornerstone commodities such as energy, food, and rare minerals, what will be the U.S. and European response? Are sanctions enough?
What does food security mean for China and the rest of the world?
What does agriculture look like in a communist, socialist, and democratic country? What works and what doesn’t? What lessons can we learn from Venezuela?
What does the United States trade? What are the interesting storylines with imports and exports? What happens in those different markets?
What role does the FDA and USDA play? What does the consumer need from government regulators?
Climate & Agriculture
How can we sustainably feed the world without expanding agriculture’s footprint?
The cattle industry is under attack for emitting methane. What innovations will continue to improve feed digestibility and methane digesters for cattle and dairy? What is the role of cattle for grasslands and soil?
Will carbon become a new currency? Will the consumer be trading carbon credits? Will the farmer benefit from sequestering carbon in their fields? What are the economic implications along the entire food value chain – from dirt to dinner?
Will regenerative agriculture scale to make a meaningful difference in creating and building up our soil? Can large-scale farming truly sequester carbon?
How will our understanding of the soil and human gut microbiome give us better farming practices as well as nutritional health?
How are the Environmental, Social, and Governance goals of companies changing how food is grown? What are the implications to both the farmer and the consumer?
How soon will rural America have access to stronger internet, such as broadband?
Consumers: Health & Nutrition
Which companies reward their employees to make the connection between the food they eat and health care costs? By focusing on employee and family food plans, which companies have alleviated short-term sick days and long-term illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer?
What advances in genetics will help scientists and doctors tailor nutrition for individual needs?
Will food continue to unite us culturally and individually or simply become another means of highlighting our different agendas and interests?
What does the future hold for the alternative protein industry? Will they continue to be adopted by the consumer? Will they significantly displace dairy, poultry, beef, and pork? Will the consumer adopt them wholeheartedly or will people eat a mix of proteins? Which countries have the most innovation and acceptance?
What will the aquaculture industry look like? Will the consumer demand more transparency on imported, wild-caught, or farmed fish?
Consumers want to know where their food comes from. What advancements will be made regarding food traceability? Blockchain, DNA testing, and sensors for animal traceability are just a few of the technologies that will bring full disclosure to the consumer.
How can the food system shape and create a healthy narrative for the consumer? Which companies are taking the lead in creating healthy and ‘good for you’ foods that can be found in the center of the grocery aisle?
Home delivery is not just the milkman or your favorite Instacart shopper. What are creative and innovative delivery solutions for both groceries and take-out meals?