Doug Vining Food, fuel and inflation

Living in a highly connected world means you certainly get the news instantly - whether it's bad or good. But it seems that each new crisis that arises promises even darker days ahead; from famine in Somalia to looting in London, debt in Europe to inflation in Asia.

Food and fuel will always be key concerns in social and economic terms. We can't pursue 'normal' lives without them. Global food prices are approaching an all time high, last seen three years ago, while oil is remaining buoyant, despite the spectre of a double-dip recession. Will the scenario depicted in this MindBullet be upstaged by current events, or will one of those black swans hatching in the labs completely change the ground rules? Either way, we are faced with radical challenges, which require more radical solutions, and not more business as usual.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Food, fuel and inflation") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 16 August 2011 at 16:42

Doug Vining China becomes urbanized

Seeing as how China now has more people living in cities than in rural areas, which is ahead of our timeline from a few years back, we can now call China a mainly urban society, and many things will apply to those markets.

In particular, I think that the scenario from this MindBullet is more likely than ever.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "China becomes urbanized") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 18 January 2012 at 21:43

Doug Vining Fueling food inflation

The World Bank is convinced that, these days, the most important factor influencing food prices is the oil price, or the cost of fuel.

As China is firmly on this trajectory of more cars and more affluent lifestyles, the scenario we wrote about in this MindBullet could become imminent.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Fueling food inflation") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 5 July 2013 at 12:23

Doug Vining China farming facing future crisis?

In recent decades China has quietly transformed its agriculture from hand-tended plots to mechanised farms, and food production has tripled. Hunger rates have declined, and as employment opportunities in the cities have absorbed rural workers, it seems China has avoided the crisis of millions of displaced farmers.

But, as this MindBullet alongside reminds us, China's changing prosperity is also changing their taste and demand for food. Faced with it's historical challenge of having to feed a quarter of the world's population on 7% of the arable land, will China find innovative solutions, or sink into an inflationary scenario in the future?

A FuturesForum post (titled: "China farming facing future crisis?") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 29 August 2013 at 11:34

Doug Vining China's frozen food craze

This article in the New York Times magazine gives great insight into the birth of Chinese innovation and entrepreneurship, what I like to call an "innovateur":

"His first patent covered a production process for the balls themselves; a second was for the packaging that would protect them from freezer burn. Soon enough, Chen realized that both innovations could be applied to pot stickers, too. And so in 1992, against the advice of his entire family, Chen, then 50, quit his hospital job, rented a small former print shop and started China’s first frozen-food business. He named his fledgling dumpling company Sanquan, which is short for the “Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China” — the 1978 gathering that marked the country’s first steps toward the open market."

In 1995 only 7% of urban Chinese households had refrigerators; by 2007 it was 95%. That illustrates the incredibly rapid transition to western style urban lifestyles in China, which will give impetus to the scenario described in this MindBullet. I'm not too sure about the global warming angle, but food, fuel and inflation seems highly likely.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "China's frozen food craze") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 29 July 2014 at 08:56
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