This member participated in the following discussions
Below, moslty provides feedback from a humanitarian/crisis context perspective.
Crisis, food insecurity and food systems
Crisis due to conflict, climate or disaster caused by impact due to weather/geological causes should be distinguishable and be treated as impacting food systems in differing ways, yet be able to clearly state that these do not happen in isolation, but often are combined or amplifying each others impact. They should preferably not be treated as one system of impact but as a set of systems amplifying impact on food systems, food security and nutrition.
Complex crises are often prolonged and can last decades. In such type of contexts alternative food systems emerge under the influence of humanitarian actors, parties to a conflict etc. Such type of aid and/or political driven food systems are often social, environmental, political and economical compromised thereby undermining the ability to provide and enabling environment that can promote sustainable food systems, leaving the most vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition behind. A majority of people living in acute and/or chronic food insecurity and malnutrition live in or locations vulnerable to the combination of fragility, conflict and climate change. It is hence critical that the guidelines bring to attention the necessity for all stakeholders to face the conundrum and not only treat the crisis dimension as part of the political and economic domains, but also the social, climatic and environmental domains.
Suggest to add
- Paragraph C: “processing” to food production and consumption. Sustainable processing is as important as its production;
- Paragraph F: clarification required - "sustainable vs resilient" -if something is sustainable does this implies that the food system being resilient. A resilient food system does nevertheless not imply it being sustainable, depending on the context and what being resilient to (e.g. persistence).
- The guiding principles should preferable include a specific paragraph on minimise food waste and recycling of food waste and its by-products where waste can't be avoided;
- The principles should have a statment that highlights the importance to protect local food systems. Larger/national/regiona/global food systems should not undermine them but support and strengthen them, yet prevent local food system becoming overly reliant on these larger food systems as this will undermine sustainability.
It is recommended to avoid referring to the term “resilient” unless directly associated to specific context. This is to avoid mixing up the distinguishable difference of a sustainable food system vs. a resilient food system.
Systemic food assistance should not only fill systemic gaps and reduce impact, but also address risks and hazards to prevent future crises and impacts. The guidelines will need to respect what the humanitarian mandate is and what it is not. It should not be a humanitarian responsibility to provide “sustainable” development assistance but enable pathways towards sustainability as fast as possible. Thus, the guidelines should where possible try to take into account the HDP nexus and NWOW developments, help clarifying what role the humanitarian, development and governance actors should take on before, during and after crisis in enabling, promoting and operationalizing sustainable food systems, primrily benefitting the local level and the local communities.
Without having read the document in detail, the report has a relatively logic structure and broad attention relevant to be able to take up dialogue on sustainable food systems. A couple of subjects that could potentially deserve more attention in the document as part of future trends and what is currently challenging sustainability and providing opportunities are suggested below.
- Fragility, crisis and climate change: These should not be seen as isolated phenomena but part of system effects. They are all induced by human behavior and influence each other including the resilience of any food system. Conflict, displacement and economic collapse are a risk to the ability transition and building sustainable food systems. The combination is a major risk to the planetary thresholds/boundaries and can therefore impact food systems that are globally integrated with each other.
- Novel foods and production systems (both industrial and family farm level): These can/already provide opportunities for a shift in the availability of new types of food and feed (e.g. seaweeds, algae, insects for food & feed, aqua/hydroponics etc.). As these can contribute to the transformation of unsustainable practices towards more sustainable food systems that are more fit for a world of rapid change they should have an increased attention as part of defining/describing what is/can be contributing to different types of sustainable food systems.