Energy-smart food at FAO: an overview

This paper presents FAO’s work on energy in relation to specific components of the agrifood chain. It complements two recent publications, Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate Issues Paper and the policy brief, Making the Case for Energy-Smart Food. These publications presented the findings of a 2011 study commissioned by FAO that examined the linkages between energy and agrifood systems and their implications for food security and climate. The study looked at energy uses along the entire agrifood chain from field to plate and the potential of agrifood systems to produce energy. Findings confirmed that agrifood systems use a large share of the global energy supply, rely heavily on fossil fuels to meet production targets and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The study concluded that agrifood systems will have to become ‘energy-smart’ to meet future food and energy challenges, and recommended establishing a major long-term multipartner programme on energy-smart food systems based on three pillars: improving energy efficiency in agrifood systems; increasing the use of renewable energy in these systems; and improving access to modern energy services through integrated food and energy production.