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Time to fix our food – 2021 Food Systems Summit

Food – something we all think about every day. Yet, how far do our thoughts about food go? Do we think about how it is produced and where it comes from? Do we think about the cost of our food to the environment? The cost of production? Do we ever wonder whether there is an endless supply of the foods we love? 

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2020 Year in Review

10 years ago I had a dream to start a new business focused on issues I am passionate about. That dream has been shared by the incredible coterie of colleagues we have built at Emerging ag – truly my dream team! Over the past decade, we have had the opportunity to work on exciting projects with interesting clients from around the world. Although this year we didn’t get to visit those clients and projects in-person, we were so lucky to have had a busy, constructive, exciting year – our biggest yet despite all the challenges. Here are a few highlights:

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Combatting Hunger to Promote Peace

For centuries, the world perceived hunger and food insecurity as only effects in conflict situations. Indeed, conflict is one of the main drivers of hunger. In any situation where people are displaced, maimed, or killed as a result of insecurity and conflict the end result is lower food production. So, it is true that conflict brings hunger.

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CERES 2030: Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger

At a time when human civilization has achieved technological advances beyond imagination, where global telecommunications are instant, where artificial intelligence has permeated almost every aspect of life, when mankind has travelled to the moon and beyond, one age-old problem continues to persist – hunger. Despite the efforts by Governments, regional and international organizations and many actors and stakeholders, the world has been unable to eliminate the scourge of hunger.  

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Food System Response to COVID-19

I have been closely observing the impact of the pandemic on food systems and the response of agri-food actors around the world. The projections of food insecurity are devastating. However, I have found reassurance in seeing how the global food system showed tremendous resilience in such adversity. We saw many actors rising to the occasion to become food heroes. These were ordinary people such as farmers, transporters, grocery store owners, restaurant managers who worked around the clock, adjusted nimbly to difficult challenges, and demonstrated that every part of the food value chain is essential to a sustainable and resilient food system.

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Vital work of Codex Alimentarius continues despite COVID-19

Safe food and equitable international trade in food commodities depend on the establishment of Codex standards which are based on science and risk-based standards.  The Covid-19 pandemic has also added clarity to the link between trade and global food security and highlighted the need for more resilience in the global food system.

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Online Events – When stage management becomes virtual

When I joined Emerging in 2019, after 15 years working to support artistic companies around the world, I did not think my stage experience would become so relevant as it is today. 

2020 has been a game-changing year for companies and organizations on many levels. One of them has been their capacity to continue working in a virtual setting. As remote working and virtual meetings are slowly becoming a new norm, so are online events. Those have been allowing me to contribute even more meaningfully to the work of my team. In fact, on many levels managing online events is like stage management. 

 

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2020 High Level “Food Systems Dialogue” Report: Food Systems Summit 2021 Action Tracks

The Private Sector Mechanism has been hosting a High Level Dinner for the past ten years during the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to serve as a platform for interaction and dialogue between senior leadership from the private sector, civil society, UN Agencies and Permanent Representatives to the Rome-based agencies. Usually, this event takes the form of a dinner in Rome, but for the first time, it was held virtually as part of the Food Systems Dialogues. The conversation of the 200 participants focused on the 2021 Food Systems Summit’s Five Action Tracks. A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These shared actions must be built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the center.  

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It is Time to Rethink Africa’s Food Systems to Feed the Cities – a Call for Commitment at the AGRF 2020 Summit

"We must not relent in our effort to transform food systems for the benefit of everyone and build stronger, resilient and more sustainable food systems.” - Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Special Envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit

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CFS Special High Level Event

October in Rome typically brings beautiful warm weather, a slew of wine and food festivals and hundreds of business professionals, delegates, and government officials to take part in the annual session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). CFS members include 130 Member States, the Civil Society Mechanism, and the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM), and team members from Emerging ag assist with the Secretariat services. Every year over 1,000 people participate in the plenary sessions that take part throughout the week. In the wake of COVID-19 an in-person session was not able to take place. Instead, the CFS Secretariat worked hard to put on a CFS Special High-Level Event.  Over the course of three days, October 13 – 15, 12 partner events were hosted as well as a total 9 hours of plenary discussions.

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