TOMRA's CEO discusses the future of food at The Economist Sustainability Summit Asia


The topics of food production, sustainability and the future of food in Asia were high on the agenda at The Economist’s Sustainability Summit Asia 2018. TOMRA President and CEO, Stefan Ranstrand, participated as a panelist in the "Food for Thought" panel discussion, along with two other experts in the field.

Taking place on November 15 in Kuala Lumpur, the prestigious event brought together key minds and decision makers such as scientists, business leaders, entrepreneurs and academics to discuss how Asia can embrace the circular economy, and, in turn, achieve sustainable economic growth.

During the "Food for Thought" panel session, Stefan discussed one of the main issues that the region faces as it continues to grow and develop, namely sustainability in food production. Currently, Asia comprises over half the world’s population while only holding a fifth of its farmland.

Using examples of TOMRA’s sensor-based technology, Stefan emphasized how the region can become efficient, maximize yields, reduce waste and ultimately change the way the world uses its resources.

He said: “Food production and its sustainability is one of the key considerations for Asia and the world. It could develop as a serious issue in the years ahead as populations and demand for food both rise. By 2050, a global population of 9.8 billion will require 70 per cent more food than is consumed today."

“Presently, we waste a third of our global food production, which clearly is not sustainable for the future. There is a need to enhance yields, reduce waste and meet increasing consumer expectations in order to match global food demand for the future."

“Using sensor and sorting technology, we can use digital solutions to increase yields, cut costs, water and fertilizer and increase crop resilience. We can also employ the use of sorting solutions to ensure every piece of food is optimized within the value chain, either providing the customer with the best produce or ensuring that any waste is routed for other lower value uses such as animal feed or biofuel."

“Ensuring sustainability is crucial to offset any potential issues centered around food production across not just Asia, but the world.”

Stefan concluded: “TOMRA’s mission is to lead the resource revolution. To create smart solutions for optimizing our resources – sourcing them, stewarding them, reclaiming them, recycling them and revitalizing them. To make the most effective use of our resources and ensure that we can meet global food demand in the years to come.”

For more insights from TOMRA on the future of food, visit our blog at https://food.tomra.com/blog.