Mexico held the "National Forum: Food Security and Climate Change" to explore how climate change can influence the consolidation of sustainable agri-food production systems. A factor that is becoming increasingly relevant is the larger role consumers play in climate change as they remain unaware of the impact that accelerated global warming can have on their living conditions.
The main point of the forum is to find alternatives to increase producers' resilience and explore consumers' role in the face of the adverse effects of climate change. Generating greater resilience through new sustainable methods takes an increasing importance and urgency given that the progress made in reducing poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition has been lost, according to SADER.
In these circumstances, it is essential to transform agri-food systems through science and technology. Over half of Mexico’s territory is degraded, which reduces the health of the soil and its productivity. Given this scenario, sustainable agriculture seeks to meet the needs of present and future generations and guarantee profitability, environmental health and social and economic equity, according to SADER.
The effects of limited sustainable practices in Mexico can already be seen, such as the droughts affecting Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. These circumstances were worsened by consumer behavior as massive purchases of bottled water caused shortages and increased prices. The state began distributing water only between 4:00 and 10:00 am and the Monterrey Water and Drainage Services agency continue distributing water through pipes.
Studies by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) show that consumer awareness of climate change "is progressively increasing." For years, "we give more and more importance to ethical aspects in our purchases," reads the report. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that the most effective policies to reduce the environmental impact of climate change in the domestic sector consist of a combination of legal, market, informational and educational measures. In this framework, the role of the citizen as a consumer is fundamental because consumer demand has proven to be one of the fastest mechanisms for changing companies and the design of their products and services.
Mexico can develop new sustainable agricultural methods as the fifth mega-diverse country in the world. The country has extensively adapted crops to new conditions thanks to a broad genetic base. However, consumer behavior still requires education and investment, according to SADER.