Clariant has a significant role to play

At this time of year, when food features heavily in the customs and traditional celebrations enjoyed around the world, it is sobering to learn that hunger poses the main global threat to human health. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, starvation causes more deaths per year than AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis together. While progress is being made in reducing the global undernourished population, in 2013 around 842 million people were reported as suffering from hunger. That’s a staggering one in every eight of the world’s population.  

The causes of world hunger are both natural and manmade. Unfortunately manmade factors are leading the way. By 2050, the world population will have risen from 7 billion to more than 9 billion people, creating higher demand for food, animal fodder, and energy. In parallel, the amount of available, viable agricultural land will reduce per head, in part through increased land use for bio-fuels and over-use of fertilizers. Ever-expanding meat consumption – expected to grow 70% by 2050 - is seen as one of the main culprits behind continuing world hunger. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that approximately 35% of the global cereal harvest is used as animal feed. This is an alarming statistic considering that around 1/3 of global food produce never reaches consumers’ plates. Food loss and waste is increasing through inadequate storage and transportation, as well as consumer over-purchasing. These factors add to political and commercial issues to damage the delicate balance between people and planet.

Clariant Synergen OS crop protection
Clariant Synergen® OS ensures a significant increase in effectiveness and actual agricultural yields alike

»Nutrition is one of the megatrends that will significantly impact the market for specialty chemicals. Clariant is well-positioned to take advantage of such an opportunity and, through its extensive portfolio of products and solutions, contribute to the improvement of worldwide nutrition. Our technology to transform straw into bioethanol successfully deals with the issue of competition between food and fuel in the field of agriculture. Along with Clariant’s food and feed additives, the company’s packaging and transportation solutions help protect the health of humans as well as animals. And our crop science solutions contribute to increased yields.«

– Hariolf Kottmann, CEO Clariant


Clariant’s broad business scope enables it to contribute across the spectrum of nutrition-related areas. The company is able to understand the challenges facing farmers and those supplying pesticides, fertilizers, and animal feedstuff to the industry, to provide resource-optimizing solutions that maximize crop yields and protect livestock and the environment. 

It also supports reliable packaging and the safe transport and storage of food produce, to help put an end to the 1.2 billion tons of foodstuff which rots each year and is never consumed.

In its efforts to counterbalance the food versus fuel debate, Clariant’s Sunliquid process is at the forefront of enabling the production of renewable ethanol from a variety of cellulosic raw materials. Using these plant residues means that there is no competition with food production or for agricultural land.

The vast issue of nutrition affects developed and developing nations alike. Over the coming months, Clariant will be raising awareness of its specific solutions supporting the farming, logistics, and packaging industries in the global fight against world hunger.

November’s United Nations International Conference on Nutrition has highlighted the extent of global concern for nutrition and world hunger. One outcome of the Rome gathering: world leaders have now adopted voluntary guidelines to fight malnutrition, in a move to tackle the imbalance that exists between people starving to death and high levels of obesity. While no company or individual can tackle world hunger and the developed world’s attitude toward food and waste single-handedly, raising awareness of the contributing factors and potential solutions is essential.

Clariant Container DRI safe food transport
Clariant Container Dri® II for food preservation even during a longer transport through different climate zones



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Stefanie Nehlsen

Global Trade Media Relations

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