I’m going to address food security, national security and supply chains in the same post. Going forward, expect more of the same as I integrate my supply chain studies and data analytics practice at a bee-focused Boston non-profit.
Societies across the globe have a vested interest in ensuring their respective population’s access to food is affordable, accessible, plentiful and sustainable. The lack of such access can redound across borders in a variety of ways. An April 13th New York Times article highlights the challenges and dilemmas facing Honduran coffee growers:
The outlook for the region seems bleak. Reduced yields of coffee and subsistence crops like corn and beans could significantly increase food insecurity and malnutrition. By some predictions, the amount of land suitable for growing coffee in Central America could drop by more than 40 percent by 2050.
Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin, said that government statistics on apprehension of migrants at the southwest border of the United States in recent years reflect a sharp increase in people from western Honduras.
After large caravans of migrants arrived last fall in Tijuana, Mexico, a United Nations survey found that 72 percent of those surveyed were from Honduras — and 28 percent of the respondents had worked in the agricultural sector.
In Venezuela, 6 out of 10 respondents to a 2017 survey of current living conditions reported going to bed hungry. To be fair, the lack of food is related to a lack of general political stability, but is nonetheless reflected in riots and unrest.
In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security classifies food and agriculture as 1 of 16 sectors comprising “critical infrastructure”.
According to the Department’s CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) page:
The nation’s food-agriculture sector accounts for 20% of GDP and is itself dependent on a suite of related industries including transportation, waste water, chemical and energy.
All of which makes for a classic supply chain model: the flow of information,money and goods/services. Agriculture is a centerpiece in the global supply chain and bees, as keystone pollinators, represent an indispensable link.