Sustainable, healthy and accessible food for all
Which national policies and transnational governance schemes for sustainable and resilient food systems in Europe by 2030?
Welcome to our workshop series on food systems transformation! Together with food system actors and interested citizenshe we will explore how to achieve sustainable and resilient food systems in the context of market- and regulatory interlinkages beyond national borders. More precisely we will be asking the following questions during two workshops in Switzerland and the UK:
- How can a transition towards sustainable and resilient food systems in Europe be achieved by 2030?
- Which national policies and transnational governance schemes are needed to achieve sustainable and resilient food systems in Europe by 2030?”
About the workshops
The workshops are open to anybody interested in the topic and will be structured in two parts:
1. Expert input followed by Q&A
2. Split into smaller working groups to identify issues and policy recommendations around distinct areas of the food system value-chain (1) production; (2) aggregation, processing, and distribution and (3) consumption.
In the aftermath of the workshops, perspectives from Switzerland and the UK will be combined and synthesised in a policy brief.
- During our workshop in Bern on 2 May we had the pleasure to exchange with Lukas Fesenfeld (co-author "Wege in die Ernährungszukunft der Schweiz" and Senior researcher at University of Bern) and Gaelle Bigler (Project Manager at AgroecologyWorks).
- Agora workshop in London soon to be announced - stay tuned!
Food systems are responsible for around one-third of CO2-equivalent emissions in Europe and greatly contribute to biodiversity loss. This is the result of a historically productivist and industrial approach to food production in Europe since the 1960s largely relying on the use of chemical fertilizers and subsidy schemes benefiting large-scale industrial food production.
Food systems policy goes well beyond looking at agriculture alone as it concerns the whole value chain as often stated “from farm to fork” and a variety of actors involved in food production, aggregation, processing, distribution, and consumption processes.
With the Food System Summit in September 2021, the United Nations, its Member States, and other non-state actors officially recognised the importance of taking a holistic approach when dealing with the agri-food sector and policies. Around 150 countries announced voluntary commitments to ensure more “resilient, inclusive, and sustainable” food systems. Since then the need to transition towards more sustainable food systems has been further mainstreamed within multilateral fora, notably at the COP27 (climate) meeting in Sharm El-Sheik and the COP15 (biodiversity) in Montréal. Yet the political way forward is stony and clear-cut policy measures are still largely missing at the national level.
In 2022, as a result of climate change-related phenomena such as severe droughts, combined with geopolitical turmoil initiated by the war in Ukraine initiated by Russia, food security became a major issue with the Eastern African region being most heavily affected.
While, food system activists and a majority of the scientific community generally disagree with the assumption that food system transformation jeopardises food security, opposing forces gained political momentum in 2022. Indeed, major policy processes such as the Farm to Fork Strategy of the European Union (e.g. containing the project of EU-wide food sustainability label, the steering of agricultural subsidies towards more sustainable crop production and animal farming practices) are facing harsh opposition and are largely being put on hold.
Taking into account these major elements of resilience and food security, this workshop series is exploring the following questions: How can a transition towards sustainable and resilient food systems in Europe be achieved by 2030? Which national policies and transnational governance schemes are needed to achieve sustainable and resilient food systems in Europe by 2030?
foraus is the Swiss participatory think tank on foreign policy. As a vibrant grassroots community of young people, we shape foreign policy, shape how foreign policy is made, and enable new voices to grow, domestically as well as internationally. We publish evidence-based, high-quality content with constructive policy recommendations, organise thought-provoking events and develop innovative tools for engagement and impact, with the aim to address global challenges.
We continuously develop new participatory methods using our policy crowdsourcing methodology Policy Kitchen - for ideation and reflection.
Agora is a UK-based think tank in international affairs that supports its members in developing ideas and empowers them to influence foreign policy outside of conventional channels. It works to produce informed, creative, and pragmatic foreign policy proposals. Through blogs, briefings, reports, and events Agora allows a wide range of voices to participate in the key debates on the future of international relations.
Contact in case of questions: firstname.lastname@example.org