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Europe Is Alarmed Enough To Begin Wargaming A Food Crisis

Europe Is Alarmed Enough To Begin Wargaming A Food Crisis

Governments of the European Union are engaged in wargames which simulate and foresee a global food crisis. A mix of major factors including the Russia-Ukraine war and impact on grain supplies there, as well as weather events like El Niño and La Niña and their impact on Latin American soy output, and the anti-EU farmers’ protests which have disrupted supermarket supply chains, have been cause for alarm, European officials say. Of course there’s also the example of how drastically a pandemic can interfere with supply chains. Panic buying was a trend and constant fear within the early months of the coronavirus crisis.

Bloomberg details of a conference held in Brussels last month that envisioned a 2024 to 2025 food shortage in Europe: “…over two days in central Brussels last month, some 60 European Union and government officials, food security experts, industry representatives and a few journalists gathered to confront the possibility of something barely on the radar a few years ago: a full-blown food crisis.”

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Piotr Magnuszewski, a systems modeler and game designer who helped put the conference gaming scenario together told participants to “Expect a level of chaos” and cautioned, “You may be confused at times and not have enough information.”

As the report underscores, what’s remarkable about this is the fact that a continent which stands out as among the best-fed regions in the world is now busy stress testing its food system.

Below are some of the scenarios put before participants in the wargaming event last month:

* * *

Harvest failures:

“And so, it’s 2025 and there are more harvest failures. They impact animal feed prices, which curbs livestock and fish production. Some ships carrying crops turn away from Europe to cater to higher bidders elsewhere.”

Palm oil exports cut:

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