Food 2040 Analyzing Future Opportunities for U.S. Ag

The growing middle class population of the world will be a sustained market for agriculture.

Published on: Mar 19, 2012

Everyone knows the world's population is increasing. The U.S. Grains Council has initiated a report called Food 2040 to look at future food demand and expectations in the Asian market. Tom Dorr, USGC President and CEO, says the report reveals a few things people may have known but not appreciated or recognized. In the past Dorr says the U.S. was dealing with countries with political and economic challenges.

"What we now realize is that many of these countries have stabilized their political environments ard are ginning up very strong economic activity," Dorr said. "In some cases there is 20 or 30 years of sustained economic growth that is leading to a very strong emerging middle class."

This is occurring in countries with dense populations and limited resources Dorr says and it's also driving a population with money to use for high-quality food. He says that means it's a sustained market that will be there long term, year after year.

Since 1990, at least one billion people have been moved into the middle class, defined as families with the purchasing power of $20,000 per household. Dorr says these families have the ability to purchase food products more regularly. Within the next 10 years another billion people most likely will be moved into the global middle class. By 2040, there could be two billion more in that middle class, which Dorr says creates a brand new emerging economic power in Asia and India.

"What Food 2040 is doing is identifying these possibilities and trying to begin fleshing out opportunities that we should look at because they won't require the same kind of food systems," Dorr said. "They'll require different, more advanced, more sophisticated, portion controls, quality controls, distribution systems that accommodate these food safety requirements  and other things with densely populated communities. What Food 2040 really does is give you a look at the future possibilities of an economic opportunity that is really extraordinarily exciting."

The U.S. Grains Council encourages everyone, especially producers, agribusinesses and food processors, to look at the Food 2040 report closely and facilitate discussions on how U.S. ag and food industries can adjust to accommodate and capitalize on the outlined opportunities.

The study can be found at www.grains.org.