Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

1. Improving nutrition and food security of the people in (my) country within the next ten years:  Income security is the biggest barrier, because most people have physical access to food retail - this will require public policy, especially to improve incomes for households dependent on income from government sources (e.g., social assistance, disability pension).  However, Canada also has vulnerable populations and geographic regions where food insecurity exists in part due to lack of physical access to food - particularly among Indigenous Peoples and in northern and remote communities.  Distribution infrastructure and access to more local/country foods are barriers.  With respect to local food, there must be assessment of the relative value and feasibility of food produced locally vs food produced in the best 'locale'.  Geographic regions with ideal growing conditions (soil, climate - including effects of climate change, water) must be protected for agricultural use, especially in urbanized areas where there is tremendous pressure from urban sprawl (requiring governments at all levels to commit to land protection).

2.  Critical activities - intersectoral dialogue in every country, at all levels of government, with citizen engagement, with value placed on upholding food sovereignty.  Countries need national food policies that consider all the costs and benefits - health and environmental impacts, agriculture and economy.  Trade targets for export cannot be prioritized at the expense of population health and biodiversity - not sustainable at the global level.  Plant-based diets are more easily sustained - the world needs to seriously consider how population consumption habits will change, and some producers and processors will need to transition from animal-based industries.

3.  A personal opinion - there is increasing unease about monopolies in the agri-food sectors - how can we commit globally to limiting private sector monopolies to achieve balance and a reasonable degree of protection for food sovereignty among citizens?  What global indicators might be monitored?  Who could develop and enforce global food policy?

4. Protection of human rights and the environment must become entrenched beyond "movements" - these are not optional, they are essential for a globally sustainable food system!  If this awareness can be raised in the next decade, with universal agreement among governments, then that will be one mark of success.  Food and water are not simply "commodities" - they are not optional, they cannot be replaced by other "products" - and so ownership of and access to food and water must be fair and secure, a shared public responsibility to protect the right to food and water, with dignity and equity, not by charity.