The macro trends identified and discussed in previous editions of this report – urbanization; changing demographics, consumer preferences and expectations; science and technological advancements; and global connectivity – continue to shape future challenges and opportunities.
Each year the environmental scan, available exclusively to International Fresh Produce Association members, examines the impact of these macro trends and identifies the latest nuances. For 2022, we highlight the global economic, political, cultural, social, and technological disruptions that will have the most significant impact on the produce and floral industries over the next two to four years.
It is too early to draw conclusive lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the experience highlighted the increasing pressure on the global agriculture industry: a growing global population, climate volatility, environmental degradation, limited natural resources, and changing consumer demands. It also highlighted the importance of efficient supply chains and alternative ways of growing, processing, transporting, and selling food to consumers.
The power of the consumer cannot be overestimated as they can transform industries overnight. Euromonitor predicts the world’s population will reach 8.1 billion by 2025, resulting in an increased need for food at a time when the availability of natural resources, including farmland and water, are expected to decline. This will force changes in global agricultural production, supply, and trade.
The challenges of the produce and floral supply chains force divergent thinking to meet changing consumer demands. Those challenges include limited availability of land, labor and water, and rising consumer expectations of safe, environmentally sustainable produce and floral production. These global challenges will accelerate the development and adoption of technologies, disciplines, and new materials to increase efficiencies and performance.
Macro trends such as climate change, economic uncertainty, or geopolitical tensions tend to change what’s available as well as consumers’ values and ultimately their diets. Whatever happens in the world, we will see it on our plates.