UN Food Systems Summit 2021


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The United Nations (UN) is hosting a Food Systems Summit in 2021. As a UN member, Australia is participating in this event.

The aim of the summit is to raise awareness of the critical role that agriculture and food systems play in achieving a sustainable future. Outcomes go towards achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Each of these goals contribute to achieving healthier, more sustainable, fairer food systems.

The food system includes all  people, processes and activities involved in the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products from agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and the broader economic, social and environmental contexts in which these activities take place (FAO, 2018). Food systems are complex and interconnected.

The world’s food systems are facing many challenges, including here in Australia. For example, there is a need to ensure more sustainable food production, to feed more people and to enable farmers and producers to make a decent living from agriculture. Reducing hunger and malnutrition around the world and managing risks from climate change are also key.

Australia supports the UN’s goal of delivering more sustainable, productive and resilient agricultural and food systems for producers and consumers alike.

The Food Systems Summit will bring together policy-makers, farmers, industry, academia and community groups from around the world, to discuss these challenges and share potential solutions and innovations.

National Food System Summit Dialogues

In the lead up to the Food Systems Summit, a high-level political event planned for September 2021, UN member countries, including Australia, will be holding Food Systems Summit Dialogues.

In its role as Australia’s National Convenor for the Food Systems Summit, the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment is pleased to announce a series of webinars which are part of Australia’s Food Systems Summit Dialogues.

These webinars provide an open and independent platform for Australian stakeholders including experts, academics, industry representatives, farmers, the general public and others to share experiences, ideas, opportunities and solutions on a variety of issues and challenges facing food systems. The aim is for these discussions to be open, transparent and as representative as possible. They are independent of Australian Government processes. A synthesis of these webinars will comprise a key part of Australia’s input into the final Food Systems Summit.

A summary of the first three webinars is outlined below. Further information on webinar panellists and how you can register, is provided below.

Growing Greener – food production and a healthy environment

Thursday 13 May 2021, 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm (AEST)

As the first in the series of Australian National FSS Dialogues, this webinar will explore:

  • how sustainable food and fibre production can help meet the challenges of biodiversity loss, a changing climate, and an increasing population
  • the need to produce more food with less environmental impact
  • innovations and technology for environmental sustainability, including the role of market-based approaches for valuing environmental services and natural resources.

We are very pleased to announce the following panellists taking part in this webinar:

  • Fiona Simson, President, National Farmers Federation, Farmer and Board Director
  • Professor Richard Eckard, Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Andrew McIntosh, Associate Dean (Research) at the ANU College of Law; environmental law and policy scholar, Australian National University
  • Melinee Leather, Owner/Manager, Leather Cattle Company

If you are interested in joining the discussion – Register for the webinar

Future proofing our food systems – boosting resilience

Thursday 20 May 2021, 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm (AEST)

This webinar will explore:

  • the challenges and opportunities posed by future trends and risks, including climate change, potential trade and supply chain disruptions, and changing consumer patterns and demands
  • how stakeholders across the food supply chain are working to adapt and increase their resilience to potential vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses to safeguard a future food system that is sustainable and stable.

We are very pleased to announce the following panellists taking part in this webinar:

  • Peter Gooday, Assistant Secretary, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Professor Mario Herrero, Chief Research Scientist of Agriculture and Food, CSIRO
  • Professor Mark Howden, Director, Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions, Australian National University
  • David Eyre, CEO, Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre
  • Doug McNicholl, Program Manager, Sustainability and Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia
  • Brianna Casey, Chief Executive Officer, Foodbank Australia

If you are interested in joining the discussion – Register for the webinar

Eating for our health and the environment – balancing nutrition and sustainability

Thursday 27 May 2021, 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm (AEST)

This webinar will explore:

  • current and emerging food choices and the intersection between diet / nutrition and environmental sustainability in Australia
  • various initiatives, innovations and research along the supply chain which seeks to balance environmental/nutrition considerations
  • innovative approaches to addressing food loss and waste.

Further information on panellists taking part in this webinar will be provided shortly.

If you are interested in joining the discussion – Register for the webinar

Additional webinars which will form part of Australia’s suite of National Food Systems Summit dialogues will be announced shortly.

Please note, organisations and individuals can also hold Independent Dialogues in support of the FSS and its objectives. If you or your organisation have an interest in hosting an Independent Dialogue, further information including how to register, can be found here Independent Dialogues.

If you have any queries on any matters relating to the Food Systems Summit and Australia’s engagement, please contact foodsystemssummitaustralia@agriculture.gov.au

Please see below for further information:

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