Продовольственные системы

Moving the Needle for Long-Term Food Systems Transformation


Food Systems transformation was at the heart of the recent 4th Global Conference of the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme, which took place between 24-27 April 2023 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.  

The event brought together Ministers and Vice-Ministers from eight different countries from four different global regions, National Convenors and actors involved in the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) process, as well as multiple stakeholders from all world regions. 
More than 350 people attended the conference in-person and thousands more virtually.

Through nine main sessions and eighteen side events, the overall discussion underscored the importance of food systems transformation to address interlinked and complex challenges, such as food insecurity, malnutrition, health, climate change, biodiversity loss, conflict, as well as high energy and food prices.

More sustainable, resilient, healthy, and inclusive food systems are urgently needed to accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda. Speakers and attendees agreed that there is a need to link short-term and long-term efforts while recognizing that shocks to the system such as the COVID–19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine are moments that require short term action. That action ideally should be conducted in the framework of a long-term strategy, one that uses a holistic and inclusive approach to food systems governance and policy making.

Corinna Hawkes, Director of FAO’s Food Systems and Food Safety Division, noted how “among so many people there is a shared passion and a shared vision for healthy, sustainable, and inclusive agri-food systems which deliver food security for now and for future generations through better production, better nutrition, better environment, and better lives". "However - she also noted - “we have to consider an uncomfortable truth that the food system is full of inequalities”. Making space at the table for more voices would go a long way toward generating innovative ideas and “listening to all voices and good governance structures and processes can bring more equity into the decision-making process.”

In addition to the main sessions of the Conference, FAO co-organized a number of sessions and side events on a range of Food Systems topics, including Urban Food Systems, Sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean, and the launch of a new guide on multistakeholder collaboration.

The importance of cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder partnerships at all levels emerged as a key element also from these meetings, alongside a shared perspective on existing inequalities to be addressed. 

Connection and collaboration must become the norm, through Multistakeholder Collaboration (MSC). MSC is not a choice but an essential ingredient for Food Systems Transformation because it enables government and other actors that worked in isolation and were fragmented to connect and collaborate and develop a shared vision, understand each other roles and responsibilities, and work together to unblock blockages to implementation.

The 4th Global Conference on Sustainable Food Systems is part of a long process that began with the United Nations Food Systems Summit in New York in September 2021.

The next global meeting on Food Systems Transformation – the 2023 Stock Taking Moment to be hosted in Rome on 24-26 July - will be a moment to assess and discuss successes and challenges countries are facing today, while implementing their national pathways.