Europe faces a serious food crisis. What will happen to the farmers?

2024-04-15 12:03:08Biznes SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
Photos from farmers' protests across Europe

El Niño and La Niña weather phenomena affected soybean production in Latin America, the invasion of Ukraine affected their production, Indonesia stopped sending palm oil to Europe, and the Mediterranean area is becoming more and more like a desert.

Bloomberg reports that over two days in downtown Brussels two months ago, about 60 European Union and government officials, food safety experts, industry representatives and some journalists gathered to discuss the possibility of a large-scale food crisis. At the same time, a few streets away, farmers continued their protests against EU policy.

In four years, multiple shocks have shaken the way food is grown, distributed and consumed, writes Bloomberg. The coronavirus pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and disruptions to major transport routes have disrupted supply chains and driven up prices. Erratic and extreme weather regularly disrupts agriculture. In this context, officials no longer ask when a food crisis might occur, but how many crises they can face at once.

Stress testing has been common in the banking industry since the financial crisis. In Europe, such exercises and tests are rare, especially those focused on food.

Apparently, Europe is in an enviable position. It is one of the world's largest suppliers of food products, from grains and dairy products to pork and olive oil, with some of the lowest levels of food insecurity.

On average, only 14% of household spending went on food in 2021, compared to about 60% in Nigeria and 40% in Egypt. The Global Food Safety Index regularly ranks European countries as the safest in the world.

Things could get even more complicated in 2025. This simulation, or war game exercise for the food crisis scenario, launched by officials in Brussels showed disturbing scenes such as shop looting.