Food security

Food security

Food security is the ability of a country’s food system to meet the needs of its people. Recent global events such as the Covid-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine have shown our food supply chains are fragile and more challenges are set to arrive (climate change-related shocks, geopolitical threats, zoonotic diseases, and more).

Alternative proteins: A cornerstone in modern food security strategies

Alternative proteins can function as a reliable source of protein, as they possess distinct characteristics that contribute to the resilience of the industry, setting them apart from traditional options:

  • Alternative proteins require a fraction of the land, water, and crops that animal agriculture demands. It is essential in times of climate change and geopolitical turmoil that risk the steady supply of raw materials for animal feed (wheat, soybeans, maize, etc.)
  • With no animal involvement in the process, alternative proteins are a great solution to zoonotic diseases. This type of disease forces farmers to lose a large part of their livestock to food safety concerns.
  • Alternative proteins can be industrially produced in areas and countries where animal agriculture can’t meet the domestic demand. From a national security standpoint, this is a mechanism to boost self-reliance and resilience in times of crisis.

Alternative proteins cannot serve as a single solution for all our food security woes, but they have the potential to transform a big part of our food system so it will be more flexible, agile, and local.

Credit: Kinoko-Tech

What are Israel’s unique food security challenges, and how does it affect GFI Israel’s work?

Modern food supply chains are completely global in their reach, and therefore every country should be concerned. However, some states, like Israel, deal with greater challenges (relative to other Western countries). As a small country reliant mostly on imported foods, Israel has unique features that exacerbate its food system vulnerability.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas in October 2023 brought about disruptions in various segments of Israel’s food supply chain. This situation underscored the interconnectedness of food security with national security, highlighting the importance of viewing them as intertwined priorities. Following this, GFI Israel, in collaboration with Shaldor consultancy, has released a special report on the war’s impact on protein supply chains and what insights we should derive from this case study. We are hopeful that the Israeli food system will soon be restructured to be more resilient to various food security threats.

How does GFI Israel promote alternative proteins as a food security solution?

GFI Israel is leading the development of knowledge around alternative protein in food security. This leadership is demonstrated across various lines of activities, collectively directed toward creating a significant impact:

  • Methodology research — As a nascent field, publications on alternative proteins for food security have thus far focused on the vision. We intend to go further by offering a methodology that includes quantifiable measures of the contribution of alternative proteins for food security, considering the current global threats that increase the vulnerability of the animal-derived supply chain. The methodology paper will guide decision-makers on alternative proteins’ potential contribution to diversifying import sources, local production, and storage. The publication is planned for release in 2024.
  • Collaborative work with stakeholders — As food security becomes a more pressing issue for our entire food system, opportunities along the value chain will steadily expand and evolve, presenting new avenues for innovation and growth for food manufacturers, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and academic institutions. Food security is a multifaceted issue that requires cooperation, and GFI Israel is serving as a specialist for alternative proteins’ unique contribution.
  • GFI Israel leads the way in developing knowledge within the field of alternative protein as an essential pillar in food security strategies. The combination of a clear understanding of the food system’s challenges and a sustainable vision for the future makes GFI Israel a prominent voice within the food security discourse.

How you can help

Our research, insights, and advocacy are only possible thanks to our generous, global family of donors. GFI Israel is 100% powered by philanthropy. You can fuel this transformative work by supporting us today.