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Partnering 4 Betters

In 2022 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released Strategy Frameworks on both Climate Change and Science and Innovation as key discussion topics from now until 2031 and beyond.  

In response to these frameworks the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) hosted an event on 3 May entitled Partnering 4 Betters. The event brought together IAFN members, private sector representatives and FAO leadership with an emphasis on the FAO Science and Innovation and Climate Strategies as well as investment in SDG2. IAFN was thrilled to welcome FAO Director General Dr. QU Dongyu, Deputy Director Generals Ms. Beth Bechdol and Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, and FAO Chief Economist Mr. Maximo Torero, and other senior officials from FAO. Participants gathered to discuss work currently underway and ways in which FAO and the Private Sector can continue to work together to achieve FAO’s 4 Betters: Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment, and Better Life.

The full one-day event took place in Rome, Italy and consisted of two plenary sessions, six workshops, and a high-level lunch highlighting regional investment opportunities. Each plenary session focused on a specific topic, Science and Innovation and Climate, respectively. Participants included CEOs and Senior Officials across the entire agri-food value chain, Ambassadors and senior diplomatic representatives of several Member States and senior leadership of FAO, to discuss how the Private Sector can support the Organization’s Strategic Framework and Programme Priority Areas, thereby contributing to the transformation of agrifood systems towards a sustainable and food secure world for all.

Following each plenary session three workshops ran concurrently that allowed guests to further deliberate on the topics and more specific solutions and ways forward to address climate change and engaging science and innovation. Each workshop included speakers from the private sector, FAO leadership and Member States engaging in topic specific conversations and sharing ideas for future partnerships. Inspired by the FAO flagship Hand-in-Hand initiative (HIH) and Investment Forum, a high-level luncheon was held in the form of an Investment Café allowed for matchmaking between investors and stakeholders in key countries. During the discussion, Member States, Rome-based Agencies, and the Private Sector discussed ways to advance and leverage investment into countries to advance SDG2 and the HIH, setting the groundwork for continuing discussions during the FAO Investment Forum within the 2023 World Food Forum.

One of the key outcomes of the day was the announcement of the extension of the Accelerator Mentorship Programme for Women-led SMEs in Africa, a programme for 50 women in Africa.

The event was incredibly engaging and proved to be a moment of reinvigoration on the topics at hand and finding solutions and producing partnerships to continue working towards achieving Agenda 2030.

Ashleigh Schoonderbeek

Ashleigh has joined the Emerging team as one of our client-service coordinators. She brings with her experience in food services, the arts, media and development, and administration. She is currently working on completing her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree at the University of Calgary and Athabasca University, this program combined her passion for writing, travelling and connecting with people, aspects she hopes to continue and develop moving forward. Ashleigh currently holds a number of teaching certificates in various aspects of dance. Learn more

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