LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA, U.S. — Cargill Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Greg Page on April 17 discussed how environmental leaders, government officials and the private sector need to work together to meet the challenge of creating a world where all people have sufficient access to safe, nutritious and affordable food.
Speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Green 2012 conference, Page participated in panel discussions related to food security and environmental sustainability, including a discussion with Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. Since 2004, Cargill has supported The Nature Conservancy in its mission to strike a balance between economic opportunities and conservation of natural resources. The panel session included discussion of the Cargill and TNC partnership that is working to protect the Brazilian rainforest and help farmers grow soy more sustainably.
At the conference, Page discussed the increasing demands put on the environment as populations continue to grow. When asked by panel moderator Michael Elliott, CEO of ONE, if feeding a world on its way to 9 billion people could be done, Page said "It absolutely can be done, but it can't be done without Africa. We can feed the world with very small increases in the number of acres brought into production, provided that we raise the right crops, with the right technology, on the right land, which implicitly says we will need a global food system that involves trade since natural endowment of resources is uneven."
Page also noted that the world's production of food has doubled since 1975, through production on essentially the same number of acres.