Systèmes alimentaires

Multi-stakeholder collaboration furthers work towards sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean


Regional multi-stakeholder collaboration was at the heart of a recent event that took place at the margins of the 4th Global Conference of the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Food Systems Programme. The event highlighted how cross-country and multi-stakeholder collaboration can make the Mediterranean region a virtuous example of regional cooperation for food systems transformation, especially in view of the UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment of July 2023.

Walking the talk of the United Nations Food Systems Summit, the SFS-MED Platform (a joint effort of FAO, CIHEAM, UfM and PRIMA, and an affiliated project of the SFS Programme) fosters dialogue in and across Mediterranean countries to support them in cementing action for food systems transformation by translating international efforts into actionable solutions at national level. 

Mindful that food systems and food security have a direct impact on the overall stability of the region and in the wake of the recent global crisis, Mediterranean countries are playing a key role at both the regional and global levels in terms of advancing collaboration among stakeholders and different agrifood-related sectors. Looking at all dimensions of sustainability, multi-sectoral actions need to take into consideration the interdependency of challenges to be tackled, as well as the different contexts and specificities typical of this region. 

During the event, which took place on 26 April, the National Convenors of Albania, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco illustrated how they are working to build more sustainable food systems while integrating such efforts in their national development strategies. Among the actions presented were examples of: inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral collaboration (such as the establishment of multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms); promotion of sustainable practices (both organic and eco-friendly production, agrotourism) which help to decrease pressure on natural resources while also tackling food loss and waste; social protection measures (subsidies, school feeding programmes) and the adoption of human-right based approaches (right to food and right to natural resources); awareness raising activities; and public/private partnerships. 

Through these numerous examples showcased during the event, regional cooperation once again emerged as essential to address the interconnected development challenges (food security above all) and to fill the gaps in terms of technology transfer and insufficient funding and investments, which are essential for enabling food systems transformation and integrating these efforts within the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. 

To this end, speakers representing the European Union, CIHEAM, ENI CBC Med and ENEA confirmed their organizations’ readiness to facilitate coherent and coordinated mobilization of financial, technical and human resources. They are doing this through partnerships, dedicated instruments and programmes (such as the EU’s Global Europe and Horizon, PRIMA, etc.) that involve both the public and private sector. Adopting a systemic approach to resource and technology mobilization can ensure that the transdisciplinary innovation and multi-stakeholder collaboration necessary for enabling food systems transformation are mainstreamed. 

The SFS-MED Platform focuses on building the connections needed to generate innovative ideas, identify levers for change and achieve food systems transformation. The Platform provides the framework to connect stakeholders to address the multiple and interconnected growing challenges, bringing the food system together to overcome fragmentation of interventions and ensure coherent and coordinated actions. To support the achievement of multiple outcomes, the Platform works at different levels (regional, national sub-national, municipal) and with stakeholders from different sectors (public/government, private, academia and research, farmers, consumers, civil society, etc.), striving to enable the transformation we need for more sustainable, efficient, nutritious, inclusive and resilient food systems. 

Watch the recording of the event here