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Carlos Iglesias – The future of protein production and its implications | GES Colloquium

March 24, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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The future of protein production and its implications

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Speaker: Carlos Iglesias, Ph.D., Professor – Director Plant Breeding Consortium, NC State

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Demand for animal protein is projected to rise by 54% by 2050 (40% population increase, and 14% increase on per capita consumption). Given the current use of land and the pace of agriculture production, it will be extremely challenging to satisfy that demand with the traditional sources of animal protein, while achieving environmental sustainability. Animal production accounts for 15%-25% of global emissions depending on how we account the different components that support production. Overconsumption of animal protein (and fat) is in part responsible for the increase poor health and health risks worldwide. Replacing part of the demand for animal protein by plant-based protein foods has the potential to reduce the pressure on land resources, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, while improving human nutrition and health. The PBP market is growing by double digits every year, and is expected to reach $90 billion in 2030 from $ 5 billion in 2017. Several animal protein producers have recognize the potential of PBP and they are rapidly developing the PBP divisions. While PBP are gaining presence across the country, products are still quite expensive, putting them out of reach for a vast proportion of the population who would benefit from them. North Carolina is one of the top States in animal protein production, leading the turkey meat and pork production. It can also become a leader in the PBP market if the appropriate research support helps the industry establish and develop. The State is also well located to supply the demand for PBP to the large proportion of people living in the East Coast. We will take a look at the continuum of potential protein production markets and the significance of each technology in terms of sustainability, nutritional health, consumer acceptability, and the implications for future research at institutions like NCSU.


World Resources Institute

PublicationSYNTHESIS REPORT: Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050

Speaker Bio

Carlos grew up in a small farming community in SW Uruguay, getting his BSc at the University of Uruguay. He got his MSc and PhD in Plant Breeding at Iowa State University. Later in his career he got a MSc in Ag Econ from Purdue University and a MBA in Food and Agribusiness from Indiana University.

Carlos has experience in the public (University of Uruguay, and International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia) and private sectors (Weaver Popcorn and Syngenta). He has directly worked or managed programs in different species (corn, cassava, popcorn, wheat); and has experience in more developed agriculture production systems (North America, Brazil/Argentina), as well as production in less developed regions of the world (Sub-Saharan Africa).

He is the creator of several varieties and hybrids still being grown, and his major focus has been in linking plant breeding to high value markets. Recently at Syngenta he was managing the NA Wheat Business Unit, a self-sustain unit supported by royalties from the seed business ($16 M in royalties in 2019).

Living in Chapel Hill where his wife is getting a PhD from UNC. An avid baker, gardener and squash player.


March 24, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Poe 202 (North Campus)
2310 Katharine Stinson Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27607 United States
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