Should we concern ourselves with the Fruit Trade Future? Too right we should. After all, studying the future has become a serious business in the general sense. It is therefore only reasonable that we check out the Fruit Trade Future as well.
And we might as well jump into the deep end. The Futurist, a publication of the World Future Society, suggests that one of the answers to overcoming our food supply challenges is urban farming. One of its authors, a pragmatic Duch woman, takes the matter a bit further by suggesting that urban farming will in future break into four key segements;
What has that got to do with the Fruit Trade and its future you may ask? Well, it was not so long ago, prior to the industrial revolution, that the food we consumed, particularly vegetables, was produced relatively close to the city walls. As the cities grew and more space was needed to house factory workers, the food production areas were pushed further out. Economies of scale and efficieny increases added "their bit" and all of a sudden even our basic fruits and vegetables end up spending hours and days on the roads and in railway waggons before they get to us. And this is before we start talking about fruit imported from other continents, for example bananas.
A couple of years ago I visited a very large tomato producer in the Netherlands. After the almost obligatory guided tour through the glasshouses the General Manager showed me an enormous water tank on their premises. He explained that it actually did not really matter what they grew in those glasshouses as long as the crop was capable of producing CO2 so that the company could create enough surplus energy to not only heat its own glasshouse but supply the national grid as well, by way of storing the excess in the form of hot water before releasing it upon demand. The point being that the company earned more from generating surplus energy than from growing tomatoes. The mind boggles.
An investigation of the Fruit Trade Future is therefore more than justfied. The urban farming blog can, by the way, be found here.