Definition of Food Security, The Four Dimensions of Food Security, Food Insecurity, Food Sovereignty, Food Systems

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1 Roma Tre University Master in human Development and Food Security Definition of Food Security, The Four Dimensions of Food Security, Food Insecurity, Food Sovereignty, Food Systems George-André Simon 8th March 2018

2 What are we speaking about? Hunger?, famines?, malnutrition? Poverty? Starving people?, Suffering people? Undernourishment in the world? Over nourishment and obesity? Macro and micro nutrients? Food system, right to food? Food security, food insecurity, food sovereignty?

3 How many people are suffering from hunger, or are malnourished in the world? (FAO data) Let s be careful with data!

4 NUMBER OF PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM FOOD INSECURITY (SOFI) (Targets: 2015= 555 million => 2030= 0) Data 2011 Data 2015 Data / million 1,010 million / million / million / million / million / million million million ,020 million million / /16 (estimates) (estimates) 4 815

5 What are the basis for calculation? According to FAO, undernourishment exists when caloric intake is below the minimum dietary energy requirement, which is the amount of energy needed for light activity and a minimum acceptable weight for attained height.

6 Only energy and calories (macronutrients), no micronutrients taken into account; varies by country and year; depends on gender and age structure of population so what is food security?

7 I. Introduction Food security is a flexible concept It is an operational concept, and a tool to address lack of food security Food security is complex and interdisciplinary There are many definitions, the main one being from WFS 1996 (2002) Food security is a contested concept.

8 II. Definitions World Food Summit FS is the availability at all times of adequate world food supplies of basic foodstuffs to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices.

9 2. FAO in 1985 added: ensuring that all people at all times have both physical and economic access to the basic food that they need.

10 3. And in 1986 the World Bank report on Poverty and Hunger added to the definition: access of all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.

11 Finally, formal definition as approved at the World Food Summit (WFS), at FAO, Rome, in 1996 by Head of States and Government (and slightly modified in 2002):

12 Formal Definition Food Security Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, [social] and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. WFS, 1996 (and 2002)

13 III. The 4 Dimensions of Food Security Availability Access Utilisation Stability The 4 dimensions of food security are also a tool to analyze food insecurity situations.

14 1. AVAILABILITY Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to SUFFICIENT, safe and nutritious Food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

15 Availability is defined as the amount of food that is physically present in a country or area through all forms of domestic production, commercial imports, including informal cross-border trade and food aid.

16 To be available within the considered area, food has to be found there. It has to be the result of either a local production, grown in the area or of an importation, through formal trade, informal cross border trade or through food aid.

17 For a long time it has been considered that food security = availability of food. The measure of the quantities available within the considered area (often at country level) is usually done by using the cereal balance sheet which, likewise an accounting balance sheet, puts on one side what is coming in and on the other side what is going out.

18 In the balance sheet, the incoming are made of what has been grown, what has been imported and what has been taken away from stocks, the quantities going out refer to what will be needed for human consumption, what will be exported, what will be lost and what will be stored.

19 2. ACCESS Food security exists when all people, at all times, HAVE PHYSICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ACCESS to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

20 For logistics, economical or socio-cultural reasons people may not have access to the food that is available. The three elements of Access to food: a. physical b. financial c. socio-cultural

21 A first illustration is food being produced in another region with limited or no transport facilities between both regions and lack of information. (a. Physical) Another simple example is that of people not having the resources to purchase the food due to poverty and/or high prices of food commodities. (b. Financial) A third one is the fact that for traditional reasons some parts of the society are not allowed to access some food commodities. (c. Socio-cultural)

22 a. Physical access: Food Security: The food is available at the location where people (households, etc.) actually need it. Food Insecurity: food is available somewhere else and needs to be moved (transport, roads, logistics, )

23 b. Economic access: Food Security: The food is available where people need it and households have the financial ability to regularly acquire adequate amounts of food to meet their requirements. Food insecurity: food is available where people need it but they do not have the financial resources to actually buy it.

24 Economic access: Why do people need to buy food? they do not have enough Whom are those buying food? the poorest too Where do people buy food? the market.

25 Even in rural areas most people, and especially the poor's, rely on market systems to provide food and essential goods and services but also for selling their produce. (OXFAM, Market Analysis tools for emergencies)

26 Market: Market refers to the set of institutions, rules, structures and supporting functions that enable and shape exchange or trade between producers, consumers, traders and other actors. The market has tangible physical components (ports, roads, warehouses, shops, ) and Intangible social institutions (laws, social rules, customs, social relationships, prices fixing mechanisms, )

27 Why do we care about markets in Food Security?

28 1. Market is the place where economic access actually takes place or not. 2. It was noted that serious Food Insecurity was measured where food was available but people could not buy it.

29 3. It was noted that food aid, one way or another could have effects on the market and that thus it was important to better understand such effects. 4. It was understood that food aid was not necessarily the only response to food insecurity. When people have an access problem they rather need cash. Distributing cash requires to understand the market.

30 c. Socio-cultural Access Food security: Food is available and there are no socio-cultural barriers to people consuming it. Food insecurity: Food is available, present where needed, people have the means to procure by are not actually culturally authorized to consumed it.

31 3. UTILISATION Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, SAFE and NUTRITIOUS FOOD which meets their DIETARY NEEDS and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

32 It is not sufficient that food be available and accessible to people to ensure that people will have a safe and nutritious diet. Food has to be of good quality and safe. Food also needs to be used properly.

33 It should not be taken for granted that all people know how to best utilize food commodities. This is even more true for displaced persons and refugees. Some training may be required to help people optimizing their use of the food that is available and to which they have access.

34 The utilization dimension is thus dealing with: Quality of food Nutritive composition of food Preparation of food Conservation of food And more generally but indirectly with: Nutrition and Health

35 An increasingly important aspect of the quality of food is being referred to as Food Safety, and defined as:

36 the potential hazardous agents or contaminants present in food that can cause food borne illness. They may occur during all stages of food production, from farm to fork, and be caused by food-borne hazard, that is defined by Codex Alimentarius as a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food, with the potential to cause an adverse health effect (FAO, 2006).

37 4. STABILITY Food security exists when all people, AT ALL TIMES, have physical, social and economic Access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

38 The conditions described for the three basic dimensions of food security (availability, access and utilization) do not have to occur only at a single moment in time but need to present all the time and with sustainability.

39 The Four Dimensions of Food Security: A Conceptual Framework Availability Access Utilization Stability Domestic production Food imports Food stocks Food aid Transport and Logistics Market facilities Poverty Purchasing power Socio-cultural organization Food distribution Food quality Food safety Cooking Food conservation Quality of water Health/sanitation education Care and feeding Stability of three other dimensions Weather variability Political and economical factors (Man made emergencies) Price fluctuations

40 Conceptual framework: an example in use in Cambodia

41 Criticism related to FS definition The definition does not - specify where food should be produced, how, by whom, for whose profit, - recognize the political dimension, - question the neoliberal approach, the economic growth, - question the role of the international agro-industrial sector that conditions the food system.

42 IV. Food insecurity Most of the usual definitions of food insecurity (including the FAO one) still do not fully recognize the importance of the 4 dimensions and in particular of utilization and stability. As each of the four dimensions is necessary but not sufficient, the absence of one of them is enough to generate food insecurity. The SOFI definition from 2016 is fairly complete.

43 Food insecurity Definition (FAO) Food insecurity exists when people do not have adequate physical social or economic access to food.

44 Food insecurity A situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life. It may be caused by the unavailability of food, insufficient purchasing power, inappropriate distribution, or inadequate use of food at the household level. Food insecurity, poor conditions of health and sanitation, and inappropriate care and feeding practices are the major causes of poor nutritional status. Food insecurity may be chronic, seasonal or transitory. (SOFI 2015)

45 Food insecurity May be due to: - lack of food: no availability - lack of resources: no access - improper use: no proper utilization - Changes in time: no stability

46 V. Food sovereignty Food sovereignty, a term invented by members of Via Campesina in 1996, asserts the right of people to define their own food systems. Advocates of food sovereignty put the individuals who produce, distribute and consume food at the center of decisions on food systems and policies, rather than the corporations and market institutions they believe have come to dominate the global food system.

47 Food sovereignty But Food Sovereignty also - Prioritizes food production for domestic and local markets based on small-scale agro ecological production systems, - Defends peoples access to and control over productive resources including seeds, - Ensures remunerative prices for farmers by regulating and protecting markets, - Prioritizes public policies and investment in support of smallscale producer and local food systems, and therefore is also perceived as a corporative resistance by the agricultural producers.

48 VI. Food System - The way women and men get organized, in space and time to obtain and consume their food. (L. Mallassis, 1994) - The food system is defined as the whole array of activities, ranging from input distribution through on-farm production to marketing and processing, involved in producing and distributing food to both urban and rural consumers (including farmers). (John Staatz, 2000) - From farm to fork.

49 Food system A food system gathers all the elements (environment, people, processes, infrastructures, institutions, etc.) and activities that relate to the production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food, and the outputs of these activities, including socio-economic and environmental outcomes. (High Level Panel of Expert, Report on Food Loses and Waste, 2014)

50 Food system Today's food systems are diverse and complex, involving everything from subsistence farming to multinational food companies. Everyone eats; therefore, everyone relies on food systems, local and global. The movement of food and food ingredients in food systems includes animals and animal products, plants and plant products, minerals, and vitamins. (Improving Food Safety through "One Health" approach, National Academic Press)

51 Food System: 2015 Food Dollar Source: ERS/USDA and May 2017

52 VII. Externalities Voluntary exchange between two parties in the market should benefit to both. But the price paid for a good or service often does not adequately reflect the costs and benefits to the society at large of producing or consuming it. When this is the case, economists use the term externality to refer to those costs or benefits that are not captured by the market price. These may be negative (where a farmer uses chemical pesticides, generating further health costs) or externalities may be positive (where an urban farmer creates attractive green space). Such externalities may be seen as evidence of what is termed market failure, meaning that in this instance the market has failed to produce an optimal outcome from the point of view of society at large.

53 VIII. Governance Governance is the sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and cooperative action may be taken. (Commission on Good Governance, Canada, 1995)

54 IX. A few definitions Kilocalorie (kcal). A unit of measurement of energy. One kilocalorie equals calories. In the International System of Units (ISU), the universal unit of energy is the joule (J). One kilocalorie = kilojoules (kj). Macronutrients. The proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are required by the body in large amounts and are available to be used for energy. They are measured in grams. Micronutrients. The vitamins, minerals and certain other substances that are required by the body in small amounts. They are measured in milligrams or micrograms. Hidden hunger: Refers to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, or micronutrient deficiencies. Micronutrient deficiencies can compromise growth, immune function, cognitive development, and reproductive and work capacity. Somebody who suffers from hidden hunger is malnourished, but may not sense hunger. Micronutrient deficiencies can also occur in people who are overweight or obese.

55 Malnutrition. An abnormal physiological condition caused by deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in energy, protein and/or other nutrients. Undernutrition. The result of undernourishment, poor absorption and/or poor biological use of nutrients consumed. Food intake that is insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements continuously. This term is used interchangeably with chronic hunger or hunger. Stunting. Low height for age, reflecting a sustained past episode or episodes of undernutrition. Underweight. Low weight for age in children, and BMI <18.5 in adults, reflecting a current condition resulting from inadequate food intake, past episodes of undernutrition or poor health conditions. Wasting. Low weight for height, generally the result of weight loss associated with a recent period of starvation or disease.


57 The right to food: The right to food is a human right. It protects the right of all human beings to live in dignity, free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. The right to food is not about charity, but about ensuring that all people have the capacity to feed themselves in dignity. The right to food is protected under international human rights and humanitarian law and the correlative state obligations are well-established under international law. The right to food is recognized in article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Socialand Cultural Rights (ICESCR), as well as a plethora of other instruments. Noteworthy is also the recognition of the right to food in numerous national constitutions.

58 End of four dimensions of Food Security, Food insecurity, Food sovereignty, Food Systems, Externalities, Governance, T h a n k y o u