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321. UN Food Systems Summit: Two Briefs for Food System Transformation

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As we have reported before (Pick up 284), a Scientific Group has been established for the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) to be held this September. The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has produced two briefs for the Scientific Group in May.

The first brief, COVID-19 and Food Systems: Rebuilding for Resilience, argues that it is essential to strengthen the resilience of food systems to cope with pandemics in the future as well as the various demand and supply side shocks that may occur, and lays out the principles and priorities for achieving this. According to this brief, although the food system is already at risk before COVID-19, the pandemic has affected the global food system in many ways, exposing its vulnerabilities and exacerbating the situation, disrupting food production and trade, affecting employment and income through the food sector, and jeopardizing the planting of crops for the following year. The brief also notes that the food environment has also been severely affected, with the closure of stores, restaurants and informal markets, and a surge in online grocery purchases. It also discusses the need to restructure the food system in order to learn from the lessons of the pandemic and prepare for the various shocks in the future. The advice and recommendations contained in the brief are intended for all countries and particularly relevant for low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), which generally have lower shock coping capacities. 

The second brief, The Transition Steps Needed to Transform Our Food Systems, is based on the report “The Food System of the Future: For People, Planet, and Prosperity”, which was also featured in Pick up 150. According to this brief, the food system is complex and dynamic, and the policies that fed the world in the 20th century no longer serve the purpose, that it cannot provide healthy food for 3 billion people, and is in a state of decline along with the natural environment. Therefore, policymakers need to not only have a vision of a transformed food system, but also develop a plan and move forward with realistic and practical transition steps. These transition steps are the focus of this brief. The priorities of different classes of stakeholders, such as international organizations, governments, donors, civil society, business etc., across the food system are also outlined in this brief.

References

Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. UNFSS: COVID-19 and Food Systems: Rebuilding for Resilience.
 https://www.glopan.org/covid-19and-food-systemsrebuilding-for-resilienc… Accessed on June 22, 2021.

Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. UNFSS: The Transition Steps Needed to Transform Our Food Systems. 
https://www.glopan.org/the-transition-steps-needed-to-transform-our-foo…  Accessed on June 22, 2021.

Contributor: SHIRATORI Sakiko (Information and Public Relations Office)