Responding to the challenges presented by global megatrends

P.J. Batt
A megatrend is a significant long-term shift in environmental, economic and social conditions that defines our future world and the pace of change. Drawing on an extensive review of the literature, six key trends are identified that will have a significant impact on horticultural industries worldwide: (1) sustainability becomes mainstream. As the global population grows and resources diminish, not only must resources be used more efficiently, but society demands that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to minimise the impact of global warming. Production systems must adapt to reduce the impact on the environment and biodiversity; (2) global interdependency. Economic power is shifting to the developing world with a commensurate shift in global trade patterns. Competition in global markets is intensifying with the rise of the middle class in the transitional economies; (3) empowered consumers. As personal disposable income increases, consumers demand more safe, healthy and nutritious food that has been produced in a more sustainable and ethical manner. Consumers put more emphasis on the experience of eating and, with the growing distrust in multinational food companies, are sourcing traditional, local foods from alternative retail outlets; (4) health and wellbeing. While people are living longer and more consumers are engaging in fitness and health, public health costs continue to rise from diet related illnesses; (5) urbanisation. For the first time in history, the majority of humanity lives in cities. However, cities cannot feed themselves thus putting increasing pressure on global supply chains and logistics systems; and (6) the technology revolution. Technology is a force of creative destruction. The digital world is having a profound impact on the availability and use of information, production and marketing systems, and how consumers interact through social media.
Batt, P.J. (2018). Responding to the challenges presented by global megatrends. Acta Hortic. 1205, 1-12
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.1
megatrends, sustainability, food, consumers

Acta Horticulturae