Please find below and enclosed Slow Food's contribution to the Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security:
Slow Food is a member of the Italian coordinating committee for the Global Coalition Against Poverty (GCAP), which actively participates in the Beyond 2015 international campaign coordinated by Concord, which hosts the international and European secretariat. In particular, as GCAP Italia we are part of the European Task Force, and within it, the leaders of the thematic working group on “economy, trade, finance, production and consumption”. We are also leading and implementing a broad national consultation that will involve institutions and civil society and allow participation in the international debate through the construction of a national position.
For the first time in human history, the Millennium Development Goals represented a global desire to fight hunger and poverty through an integrated approach. The underlying concept is that the goals cannot be reached individually, but must be all reached together, because they cannot be separated from each other. In fact, wherever results have been seen, wherever visible advancements have been made in improving the overall lives of populations, government plans have integrated interventions in the fight against hunger, maternal and child health, the fight against pandemics, environmental protection, and so on.
Now, however, it is necessary not just to renew the commitments, moving the deadline by which the goals must be reached, but to reinforce the goals themselves. If we think specifically about the objectives relating to hunger, food security and malnutrition, it is the global food system that must be changed, as it is blocking the achievement of the goals. This is and must remain the primary objective, including in post-2015 developments. At Rio+20 it was confirmed that we cannot talk about development without first resolving world hunger. The central role of food must be the point of departure for a new form of politics, for a new economy and new social relationships. The central role of food implies the belief that the right to food is the primary right of humanity—ensuring not only human life but also that of the whole planet.
Among the main challenges and opportunities in making the objective of wiping out hunger a reality is the assumption of certain obligations for states, according to what is already contained in the definition of the right to food set out by the High Commissioner for Human Rights:
- the obligation to respect, meaning to refrain from interfering with the means of subsistence of their citizens and their capacity to provide for themselves.
- the obligation to protect, implying the constitution of a system of rules on food safety, environmental protection and land ownership.
- the obligation to fulfil, implementing suitable policies to ensure that the weakest have access to resources or, in extreme cases, providing direct assistance to at least allow freedom from hunger.
The first obligation alone would suffice to reveal the harmfulness of the industrial food system determined over the past 60 years by the international organization of markets. For Slow Food and Terra Madre, this obligation concerns respect for traditional, sustainable forms of agriculture, the only ones that have always protected agrobiodiversity, resources and cultural diversities. Their standard-bearers are small-scale food producers, women, the elderly and indigenous peoples.
In addition, it has to be considered that neither innovation and new technologies in themselves nor GMOs have proved to be the solution to fight hunger. We also don’t share the belief of those claiming that food production must be increased massively to solve the hunger problem. Given that one third of the food produced is lost or wasted, it is not necessary to stress our planet earth further but rather to be able to apply alternative sustainable models in the production and in the supply chain.
These elements are fundamental to us and must be incorporated in the post-2015 challenges and opportunities. They must be included in the global objective of reforming the production and consumption systems through the inclusion of incentives that switch from economic profit to universal well-being.
This thematic discussion was led by FAO and WFP in collaboration with “The World We Want”.
The consultation was facilitated by the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)