War in Ukraine Reveals the Pain Points in the European Food System's Transition

The war in Ukraine has shaken the world and is a major blow to global food systems. In particular, countries that rely heavily on imports of grains, oilseeds, fertilizers, and energy have experienced supply chain disruptions. The war in Ukraine underscores the need for a European food system that is sufficiently resilient to shocks and is able to feed the world sustainably. At the same time, the consequences of the war call for short-term solutions to solve acute food insecurity. Some interventions may be at odds with the transition of our food system.

image of woman shopping for pears at a market

The question is whether or not those short-term actions will have a long-term negative effect on the pace of the required food transition. Our conclusion is that they need not have a negative impact if policymakers, corporations, and farmers use the current crises to focus on those parts of the food transition that were so painfully exposed by the war in Ukraine. At the same time, short-term food insecurity can be remedied with short-term solutions, while the long-term trajectory of promoting both more sustainable production and consumption continues.

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