The Challenge of Food Security

The Challenge of Food Security

International Policy and Regulatory Frameworks

Edited by Rosemary Rayfuse and Nicole Weisfelt

This timely study addresses the pressing issue of food security through a range of interdisciplinary contributions, providing both scholarly and policy-making perspectives. It sets the discussion on food security within the little-studied context of its international legal and regulatory framework. The expert contributors explore the key issues from a development perspective and through the lens of existing governance and policy systems with a view to articulating how these systems can be made more effective in dealing with the roots of food insecurity.

Chapter 1: The international policy and regulatory challenges of food security: an overview

Rosemary Rayfuse and Nicole Weisfelt

Subjects: development studies, law and development, environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, international economic law, trade law, law and development, public international law


The concept of food security is deceptively simple. Essentially, it involves ensuring that all people have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and their food preferences and ensure an active, healthy life. Ensuring global food security is, however, not simple. Indeed, as Craig Pearson notes, ‘food insecurity has been a recurring problem throughout recorded history and no doubt pre-dates records’. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), there are currently nearly one billion undernourished people in the world. With the demand for food projected to double within the next 50 years and the global population projected to increase from 7 to 9 billion, the number of undernourished people is expected to increase. The task of achieving global food security has been on the international agenda since the latter part of the 20th century. In 1945, the FAO was established to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.