On the occasion of World Food Day 2018, celebrated each year on 16 October to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition, FAO and the European Commission organized an event hosted by MEP Mr. Paolo De Castro. The event was organized under the sponsorships of the European Parliamentary Alliance on the Fight against hunger and took place at the European Parliament in Brussels. 

2018 10 ZeroHunger event 1

The FOOD 2030 Event tackled actions to eradicate hunger by 2030 and on the contribution of research and innovation (R&I) to ensuring food security and nutritious diets for all. It also provided feedback and build on the findings of the recent 2nd FOOD 2030 High Level Event that took place in Plovdiv under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency from 14-15 June 2018.

The rich panel included speakers:

  • MEP Paolo De Castro, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Coordinator of the Parliamentary Alliance on the Fight Against Hunger, S&D;
  • John Bell, Director for Bioeconomy, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission;
  • Rodrigo de Lapuerta Montoya, Director of the Liaison Office with the European Union and Belgium, FAO;
  • Emile Frison, Expert on Conservation and Agricultural Biodiversity, IPES-Food;
  • Nevena Alexandrova–Stefanova, Agricultural Innovation Systems and Knowledge Sharing Officer, FAO;
  • Roberta Sonnino, Vicechair of FOOD 2030 EG report and Professor of Environmental Policy, Cardiff University. 

A number of key messages were put forward by the panellists, among which the need to ensure:

  • NUTRITION for sustainable and healthy diets: ensuring that nutritious food and water is available, accessible and affordable for all. There can be no security without food security and there is no food security without nutrition security;
  • CLIMATE-smart and environmentally sustainable food systems: building climate-smart food systems adaptive to climate change, preserving natural resources and contributing to climate change mitigation;
  • Fight against HUNGER, which is on the rise again: the complex and multiple drivers of hunger can be only tackled effectively by investing more in R&I, together with science-policy dialogue on every level;
  • Higher PRODUCTIVITY as the main goal in agriculture, but the improvement of ecoservices should be in focus as well;
  • CIRCULARITY and resource efficiency of food systems: implementing resource-efficient circular economy principles across the whole food system while reducing its environmental footprint;
  • INNOVATION and empowerment of communities: boosting innovation and investment, while empowering communities, is crucial to accelerate the R&I to reach the 2030 goals; 
  • Adequate food POLICIES are the key to maximise the benefit and minimize the risks: There is a gap between food politics and operations on the ground. We need bold moves and brave actions to reach the 2030 goals and by 2050 we will need 60% more food, 50% more energy and 40% more water. Business as usual is not an option anymore.

The presentations of the speakers are available here.