As part of EXPO 2020 in Dubai, the European Commission organised the conference “European Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy: how innovation can support the transition towards global sustainable food systems” on 19 February 2022.
The conference underlined the importance of sustainable global food system and highlighted the role that multi-lateral and multi-actor research and innovation projects can play in the transition towards sustainable food systems.
“Our entire planet is under pressure with food systems accounting for over one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly, we need to respond with swift and effective action from all sectors. The Farm to Fork strategy is the EU’s blueprint for our transition towards a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly sustainable food system. It is an integral part of our Green Deal, seeking to keep Europe’s food system within planetary boundaries and, to achieve that, it encourages innovation to help Europe pioneer a food system that is beneficial to biodiversity, to climate and to health,” European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said in her opening address at the Conference.
“We are in the week dedicated to “Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods” at EXPO 2020, went on the European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski, “[it] is a very fitting title; it reminds us that agriculture supports our livelihoods; not only our farmers and their families, but every one of us across society: our everyday lives rest on a secure supply of safe and nutritious food. Our food and farming is more than just a sector of the economy; it is a way of life.”
Responding to some questions, European farm chief reinforced that “[the European Union is] building Green Alliances with third countries and promoting sustainable food systems in international standard-setting bodies and other multilateral organisations. […] It is essential that we take a multilateral and multi-actor approach that involves stakeholders across the value chain. In the next seven years, we will bring agricultural Research & Innovation to the next level. Under Horizon Europe, we will invest around €9 billion to support Green Deal priorities in agriculture, food and the bioeconomy.”
European Union-funded projects were presented at the event, with a particular focus on projects and other initiatives supporting sustainable farming. The projects are multi-actor and participative projects with relevant actors of the food chain across Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and include multilateral approaches to enhance the dissemination of outcomes.