While the prices in the supermarket continue to rise, salaries are not doing the same. This is leading people to look for anyway to keep their grocery bill from spiralling out of control. It is not just shoppers who are being hit hard, supermarkets are trying to keep prices down and this is putting pressure on farmers who are also facing the issue of a changing global climate which is affecting their crops.
At the same time farmers are being pressured to create more natural food, free from chemicals. While at the same time they are being asked to increase the amount they are producing to meet an every growing global population.
In East Anglia a few farmers of organic grain have joined with rearers of organic pigs to provide the food for these animals. This agreement has been reached as it is very difficult for those in the organic food market to accurately assess supply and demand. By having this agreement both parties get several benefits.
By agreeing to buy at certain prices both parties have managed to stabilise what was before an often volatile price of grain. Now both parties will be sharing the costs when the costs of manufacturing the grain change. It has also created the additional benefit of a reduced carbon footprint as the food is traceable all the way through the supply chain. The model works here because the participants knew and trusted each other, but the agreement is scalable.
Studies into the genetic composition of different types of grains are helping to determine which types are best for growing in an area with a drought and those that are better at fighting disease. A process of cross breeding will then allow these to be combined into a more efficient type of grain targeted to a local environment.
Research in the United States is helping find alternatives to old fertilisers that are being used less. These are natural alternatives that that will help to protect the land and crops. These fertiliser replacements will leave very little residue on the land and will help farmers meet the demand for foods that are more natural and nutritious.
The problem with these new, natural options is that the governmental approval process is very lengthy. Even when this process is done in one country it may have to be done over again when being considered for use in another.