Cities and the circular economy
Cities, and everyone within them, have a unique opportunity to spark a transformation towards a circular economy for food.
Half of the world’s population currently lives in cities. This number is expected to grow to 68% by 2050 at which stage 80% of the world’s food will be eaten within cities.
Consumption of food per person tends to be greater due to urban citizens earning higher average incomes than rural citizens. Yet, the high proportion of the food that flows into cities is processed or consumed in a way that creates organic waste in the form of discarded food, by-products or sewage.
The close proximity of citizens, retailers, and service providers (40% of cropland is within 20km of cities), makes new business models possible. Demand power, due to the sheer volumes of food eaten, means that city businesses and governments are ideally placed to influence the type of food that enters a city, and how and where it is produced.