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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Towards a common understanding of Sustainable Food Systems

Carola Strassner
Carola StrassnerFH Muenster University of Applied SciencesGermany

Dear Alwin, all authors and contributors

This publication will do the exchanges about these topics a very valuable service and I thank you for the opportunity to comment and make suggestions.

Re Q1: 2.1 is ok if the basis is UN-organisations' work

Some of the points I noted (and will try to keep short here) include

1.3 - it seems to imply that there is a "right" understanding; things will not change or transform because we impose one understanding. Will this be presented as a living document, that as we progress more theory and practice and understanding (perspectives) are shared? This could be revisited later in the 10YFP-sfsp, depending on resources, of course.

2. How open will the defining process be? There is space to propose an own definition but at the same time include or allude to other understandings / definitions.

2.1.1 The chronology seems to get a bbit mixed in the telling. On p.9 ...SFS are profitable ... 3 dimensions ... seems to be a very narrow  and old rendition. On p.10 l8-9 ... feedbacks..impacts...outcomes .. seems a micing of concepts / frames. On p.18 I think it should be Traditional Mediterranean Diet  (not MD).

Re Q2: Certainly good to have a kind of collection of all key SFSP-near FAO-terms.

Re Q3: 

(a) Terms I can suggest definitions or clarifications for:

p.48 UA/UG: It may be more helpful to distinguish between UA (urban farming, CSA (and all its synonyms such as Teikei etc.), edible cities) , UG (allotments, backyard garden) and Community Gardens (intercultural, neighbourhood, school and campus gardens). Or alternatively, it may be an idea to list "synonyms" or list "similar concepts". That way people can find common ground more easily. (a starting source: Nicole Rogge et al. e.g. on ResearchGate)

p.50 Consumer ed: OECD has a publication or two addressing this, see e.g. also Consumer awareness: brings one to consumer literacy, which brings up all the "literacies" - they may be good additional terms - maybe under -literacies: food, health, consumer, ecoliteracy-, ... 

For this overall topic I recommend Hayward et al. 2007 , also reviews.

p.51 Det. of Health: I suggest WHO, details here

p53. Fd Sec: Not sure if you want to pick up on the long fd-sec / fd-sec&nutr / fd&nutr-sec discussion but may be a good idea to bring nutrition in; refer to FAO

p.53 Fd types / grps: used in all national recommendations but perhaps slightly differeingly - maybe try WHO. If you were to write something like ... are basis for diet recommendations ... you might refer to Fischer/Garnett 2016

p.54 Fd Lit (besides comment above): see and the book depicetd at the bottom; for deeper maybe 

p.55 Nutr: WHO may be best for a 'globally acceptable' definition see

p.55 UPP - NOVA classification, Monteiro et al - as mentioned by others in the forum; processed food meant in NOVA context? Careful - has general meaning

p.58 fd label: Codex alimenatrius may be good for this as a neutral source; many countries/ministries have own explanation, see also FAO 

p.58 fd cert: maybe refer to ISO


(b) Terms I suggest as important and missing from the list:

a number of strategies and approaches e.g.

'blue economy', 'greening Goliaths multiplying Davids'


I'll leave it at that for now; I'd be happy to give further feedback if the opportunity arose.

Kind regards and all success