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.
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.
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.
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.
"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
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.
“We the peoples of the United Nations”, the opening words of the Charter of the United Nations, establishes who and what the United Nations is about - we the peoples!
After the inability of the League of Nations to prevent World War II, the international community was keen in 1945 for another attempt at a world organization which could offer collective security. It was US President Franklin Roosevelt who first coined the term “United Nations” and who began the sequence of actions that led to the unanimous adoption of the UN Charter.
Since 1997 the United Nations has been celebrating the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The theme for 2020 is “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all.” However, the day can be traced back to 1987 Paris, when over one hundred thousand people gathered to honor victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. While in the location that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed, these individuals made a cry that poverty was a violation of human rights and these rights needed to be respected.
The European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development will host the webinar “Research and innovation: What role for gene drive?” on October 29. The event aims to support internal EU discussions on the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, as well as to help define the EU’s position for the CBD COP-15.
The plant-protein market is growing. A recent study by JP Morgan estimated that the market will be worth $100 billion by 2030. Although this represents a seemingly small portion of the entire global protein market, it presents an opportunity for growth in the plant-protein sector. What this invariably means is more people are moving to plant-based diets and looking for plant-based sources of proteins. As a result, stakeholders in the food supply chain such as processors, retailers, and restaurants are also finding innovative ways to introduce and incorporate these options so as to meet changing consumer demands.