Overcoming Food Insecurity: Pursuing Greater Self-Sufficiency for Hong Kong

14:30 – 15:20

As a wealthy city with an urban population and close proximity to Mainland China, the pressing threats which have forced food security to be top of mind for many globally, such as crop failures due to droughts, flooding, and lack of access to food imports due to political instability, are relatively rare occurrences in Hong Kong. However, deprioritising food insecurity as a distant threat ignores the interdependence of global food supply systems and leaves Hong Kong vulnerable to external shocks.  

What opportunities and challenges exist for businesses in Hong Kong to apply a food systems approach, and implement local food security into business strategies? 


  • 66 years ago, Hong Kong produced about 2/3 of the vegetables it consumed. Today it produces less than 2%. Consequently, the vast majority of Hong Kong’s produce, 95%, is imported from around the world, with the US, China and Brazil being the top 3 suppliers by value.  
  • Hong Kong’s over-reliance on food imports exposes the city to global commodity disruptions and price fluctuations. Nomura’s 2019 “Food Vulnerability Index” ranked Hong Kong as the world’s 42nd most vulnerable place, not far behind low-income countries such as Pakistan, the Philippines and Egypt. 
  • Consequently, any events that disrupt food production and regional and global exports have significant knock-on effects. This was made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, when supply chain shocks caused fresh produce and poultry shortages. As climate-related disasters and supply chain disruptions increase in frequency, it is crucial that Hong Kong understands the direct impact of climate and other related risks as well as viable solutions towards greater food self-sufficiency. 

Post-Event Actions 

  • Understand food security from a Hong Kong lens, and how business leaders can weave robust supply chains development into business plans, 
  • Rethink how your company and industry can play a role and integrate food security into sustainability strategies.