"Feeding 10 billion people": Two relevant studies by ITAS for the European Parliament are now publicly available [26.11.2013]

In 2012 the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA) of the European Parliament had set up a project titled "Feeding 10 billion people". Aim of this project was to investigate technological options and to work out measures for the improvement of global food supply. ITAS has carried out two studies under this umbrella: "Options for Cutting Food Waste" and "Plant Breeding and Innovative Agriculture". Both studies were presented at the STOA Panel meeting in Strasbourg on 24 October 2013 and at the AGRI Committee meeting in Brussels on 5 November 2013. They were published by STOA in November 2013.

Study "Options for Cutting Food Waste"

The reduction of food waste is seen as an important lever for achieving global food security, freeing up finite resources for other uses, diminishing environmental risks and avoiding financial losses. In its roadmap for a resource efficient Europe the European Commission has set the target to halve the generation of food waste by 2020. The Study "Options for Cutting Food Waste" deals with approaches for preventing food waste based on a thorough analysis of the scale, reasons and patterns of food wastage in EU-27. The focus is on measures and instruments that are considered in the scholarly literature or in the current debate as particularly useful, easy to implement and / or that have already proven their effectiveness in practice. This includes among others the improvement and harmonization of the data basis, the setting of reduction targets on national and regional level, the revision of existing regulations on food date labeling, the enforcement of awareness campaigns, the introduction of economic incentives, the improvement of workflows as well as the implementation of an integrated supply chain management in the manufacturing and wholesale / retail sector including technological innovations which are likely to reduce food waste.

Study "Plant Breeding and Innovative Agriculture"

This study analyses how farming management concepts, practices and technologies, including plant breeding, could enable sustainable intensification of crop production, with the aim to increase food production and support food supply. The aim of sustainable intensification is to produce more food from the same area of land while reducing the environmental impacts – under socially and economically beneficial conditions. The study addresses agriculture in developing countries as well as in industrialized countries (Europe), small-scale and large-scale farming, extensive and intensive agricultural production systems, and low and high tech production practices. The main topics are:

  • Reducing yield gaps – sustainable intensification and improving crop management;
  • Increasing yield potentials – plant breeding;
  • Reducing crop losses – improving harvest and postharvest procedures.

For these topics, options for action are identified and discussed.


Priefer, C.; Jörissen, J.; Bräutigam, K.-R.
Technology options for feeding 10 billion people - Options for cutting food waste. Brüssel, Belgien: European Parliament 2013 (STOA - Science and Technology Options Assessment / ETAG)
Fragment 1 - Study (PDF)
Fragment 2 - Summary (PDF)
Fragment 3 - Options Brief (PDF)

Meyer, R.; Ratinger, T.; Voss-Fels, K.P.
Technology options for feeding 10 billion people - Plant breeding and innovative agriculture. Brüssel, Belgien: European Parliament 2013 (STOA - Science and Technology Options Assessment / ETAG)
Fragment 1 - Study (PDF)
Fragment 2 - Summary (PDF)
Fragment 3 - Annexes (PDF)
Fragment 4 - Options Brief (PDF)