Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets and addressing key drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition
As an input into the forthcoming 2021 edition of The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, the FSN Forum organised a webinar that complemented the online “Call for best practices in transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets and addressing key drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition”.
The past four editions of the report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (2017-2020) have highlighted how key drivers, including conflict, climate variability and extremes, economic slowdowns and downturns, persistent poverty and inequality, the unaffordability of healthy diets, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, are preventing many countries from successfully ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms, as called for under the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-2). If countries are to get on track to ending world hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, food systems world-wide need to be transformed with strengthened resilience to the drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition and ensure affordable healthy diets for all.
Objectives of the webinar
The webinar explored what it takes to address key drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition for coherent food system solutions that will lead to affordable health diets sustainably and inclusively.
- An improved understanding of key policy measures, investments, innovations, and other interventions needed to leverage systemic changes to our food systems for greater resilience to external drivers affecting food security and nutrition, and increased affordability of healthy diets.
- Identification of proven success stories and/or best practices (illustrative examples) relating to specific components of the food system (e.g. food production, food supply chains, food environments and/or consumer behaviour) that can serve as a model to be adapted and/or scaled up elsewhere, with the specific purpose of strengthening resilience to drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition and raising affordability of healthy diets.
- Identification of key challenges policy makers are likely to face in transforming food systems (e.g. complex governance mechanisms, legislative challenges, public-private sector collaboration across sectors, resource requirements, aspects of inclusivity and sustainability, as well as potential trade-offs among alterative interventions). Possible win-win solutions will also be highlighted.
The webinar was held in English and took place on Monday 12 April 2021, 14:30 - 16:00 (Rome, Italy).
The event attracted 439 attendees from 101 countries. Seven panelists shared their views and experience on what it takes to transform food systems sustainably and inclusively. We are grateful to the panelists and the participants for their insights and their time, and we thank the attendees who raised a total of 65 interesting questions during the webinar.
The presentations of the panellists and the webinar recording can be accessed from the links in the webinar's program below.
14:30 - Welcome - Moderator
Cindy Holleman, Senior Economist and Editor of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report, Agri-Food Economics Division, FAO.
14:35 - Setting the scene – Keynote speaker
Máximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, FAO
14:45 - Panellists
- Tim Benton, Research Director - Emerging Risks and Director - Energy, Environment and Resources Programme, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, UK
Topic: Technological and institutional innovations for food systems transformation with strengthened resilience to key drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition
- David Spielman, Senior Research Fellow, Development Strategy & Governance Division, Program Leader, Rwanda Strategy Support Program, IFPRI, Rwanda
Topic: Portfolios of policies and investments to enable transformation of food systems for strengthened resilience to the drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition
- Ndidi O. Nwuneli, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Sahel Consulting - Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd., Lagos, Nigeria
Topic: The role of SME’s in successfully transforming agri-food value chains to lower the cost of nutritious foods
- Michael Carter, Professor of the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics. University of California, Davis, USA
Topic: Tackling poverty and structural inequality, ensuring interventions are pro-poor and inclusive – the role of asset insurance
- Robert F. Townsend, Lead Economist in the Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank, Washington DC, USA
Topic: Transforming food systems in fragile and conflict-affected situations
- Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food and Agriculture Policy and Ethics, Director, Global Food Ethics and Policy Program, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
Topic: Policy portfolios for effective transformation of food environments to enable dietary patterns with positive impacts on both human health and on the environment
15:50 - Q&A and interaction with audience (moderated by Cindy Holleman)
16:15 - Wrap-up and final remarks
Máximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, FAO
The recording of the webinar is available here.
 The SOFI report is produced jointly by FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WHO and WFP. Most recent SOFI themes have focussed on: SOFI 2017 (conflict); SOFI 2018 (climate variability and extremes); SOFI 2019 (economic adversity, poverty and inequality); SOFI 2020 (cost and affordability of healthy diets and COVID-19).