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Resetting the Food System from Farm to Fork’ summit-IPS special

Resetting the future of food is possible and with this aim, the Barilla Foundation and Food Tank presented concrete solutions to rethink our food systems from farm to fork. The event highlighted the critical role of farmers in feeding the world and managing natural resources; food business in progressing towards the 2030 Agenda; and chefs in re-designing food experiences.

The prospects of technology and innovation, the role of food as prevention, and the most recent policy developments - including the EU Farm to Fork Strategy - was also be discussed. These discussions helped set the stage for 2021 United Nations Food System Summit.

Food systems affect us all. And evidence shows that the way food is produced, processed and transported is not only destructive to the environment but it is also leaving millions behind. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations over 820 million people across the world are hungry .

At ‘Resetting the Food System from Farm to Fork’ summit, co-hosted by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation (BCFN) and the Food Tank on Dec. 1, experts discussed how the food system is incapable of taking the world to the promised land – Zero Hunger by 2030, but only with an interconnected food systems approach. Recommendations were produced for the U.N. meeting, which were accepted by Dr Agnes Kalibata, the Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit.

These are:

- Farmers, fish folk, and pastoralists all play a pivotal role that must be recognised.

- Innovation and technology can be harnessed to make the transition easier and better.

- There is an urgent need for high-level and nutrient-dense accessible and affordable food.

- Businesses need to rethink their strategies and policies; and Chefs and the hospitality industry have an important role to play to reset the food system.

- The world now looks towards the U.N. Food Systems Summit next year.

In this Special edition on the event, IPS Inter Press Service brings to you opinion editorials, features and interviews.

Fixing the Food System to Produce Healthy Diets
Mantoe Phakathi
As the world accelerates towards achieving the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, it is time to replace the current broken food system. With only a decade left to reach the deadline, evidence shows that the way food is produced, processed and transported is not only destructive ... MORE > >

How to Reap the Benefits of Food as Medicine
Busani Bafana
COVID-19 has magnified global food insecurity and is driving unhealthy eating and worsening malnutrition, food experts say. They have called for deliberate global investment in food as medicine on the back of growing diet-related illnesses. Famed Greek physician, Hippocrates, foretold the ... MORE > >

Digitisation Could Transform African Agriculture
Mantoe Phakathi
Placing an online order for farming inputs saves Velebantfu Dlamini about USD12 in transport fees for a round trip of about 320 kilometres. The 26-year-old vegetable farmer from Nkhungwini in the Shiselweni Region, south of Eswatini, uses a portal to order from the National Agriculture Marketing ... MORE > >

COVID-19 an Opportunity to Build Resilience around Food Systems
Mantoe Phakathi
The Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) has appealed to the United Nations to educate citizens to use their roles as consumers to create a momentum for change. This was ahead of the 2021 Food Systems Summit which the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, will host on November ... MORE > >

Securing Freedom to Eat
Busani Bafana
For Zimbabwean organic farmer, Elizabeth Mpofu, access to healthy food is liberation. Millions of people across the world go to bed hungry. Scores do not have access to nutritious food owing to an inequitable global food system focused on industrial mass food production. The food from this system ... MORE > >

Q&A: Next Decade Sufficient Time for a Food Revolution
IPS Correspondents
In March, after the World Health Organisation first declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations activated a global corporate emergency mechanism for the first time. It had already written to all donor countries asking for $1.9 billion in front-loaded ... MORE > >

Q&A: Vote with your Fork for a World Free from Hunger
Busani Bafana
A world free from hunger is possible but only if we change how we grow and eat food. And resetting the food system — including all aspects of production, processing, marketing, distribution and the consumption and nutrition of food — is key to securing a sustainable food future post ... MORE > >

UN Warns of an Impending Famine With Millions in Danger of Starvation
Thalif Deen
The numbers are staggering— as reflected in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has triggered a new round of food shortages, famine and starvation. According to the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) 690 million people do not have enough to eat while 130 million additional people risk ... MORE > >

Sustainable Measures Help Farmers Script a Positive Story Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty
Stella Paul
As India continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing number of deaths, farmers here have been fighting a battle of their own against volatile pricing, uncertain demand and lack of access to the market. But in the midst of all this uncertainty, one farming couple in a village near ... MORE > >

Food as Prevention – Rising to Nutritional Challenges
Gabriele Riccardi
The risks factors contributing to the dramatic rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in recent decades have been known for a long time but the Covid-19 pandemic has brutally exposed our collective failure to deal with them. Reporting on the findings of the latest Global Burden of Disease ... MORE > >

Farmers Will (Again) Feed the World
Danielle Nierenberg
Wealthier countries struggling to contain the widening COVID-19 pandemic amid protests over lockdowns and restrictions risk ignoring an even greater danger out there – a looming global food emergency. Even before the virus surfaced nearly a year ago, an estimated 690 million people around the ... MORE > >