Cargill President and COO David MacLennan is confident about feeding a population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, but his concern is ensuring the poorest members of society have access to food.

In a panel at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum last week, MacLennan highlighted the importance of free trade in creating a more food-secure world. He said farmers produce enough food to meet the nutritional needs of all the world’s people but the right policies and infrastructure are pivotal to continued food access.

According to a section of the Cargill website dedicated to food security, the company considers food security a world where all people have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food that provides the basis for active and healthy lives.

"We cannot feed nine billion people without open trade," MacLennan said in the panel discussion.  "We encourage governments to advance policies that will help the world realize the benefits of trade flows, which include better access to safe, affordable and nutritious food for all."

MacLennan joined Land O'Lakes President and CEO Chris Policinski and Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco, on the panel, which was moderated by former CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno.

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum is an annual event which first occurred in 1989. It’s attended by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, civic leaders, and scholars together with students and other citizens. This year’s Forum was held in Minneapolis, Minn.