Swiss National Food Systems Summit Dialogue
In preparation for the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021, Switzerland decided to implement a MULTI-STAKEHOLDER FOOD SYSTEMS SUMMIT DIALOGUE (FSSD) AT NATIONAL LEVEL. This Dialogue took place in THREE STAGES, from March to June 2021. Through this, interested actors had the opportunity to discuss their roles within their food systems, reflecting on new forms of joint action, and getting involved in building the food systems of the future.
The third stage of this Swiss National FSSD was held virtually on 8 June 2021. Under the title "From Challenges to Actions", it brought together more than 110 FOOD SYSTEMS REPRESENTATIVES, with the aim to identify pathways to sustainable food systems by 2030, to discuss how to implement these pathways, and to talk about possible intentions from the different stakeholders.
For this purpose, the participants were invited to engage in BREAK-OUT GROUP DISCUSSIONS on a specific topic of importance for the transformation of our food systems. These discussions constituted the core of the event. The EIGHT TOPICS proposed for this third stage were: 1) Sustainable food environment; 2) Sustainable food demand and sustainable diets; 3) Sustainable production; 4) Climate change mitigation; 5) Adaptation to environmental changes, resilience and food security; 6) Food wastage (avoidable waste and losses); 7) Socio-economic dimensions of the agri-food sector; and 8) Entrepreneurship, innovation, science and technology.
These topics were formulated in the form of short statements, describing an ambitious situation to be realised within ten years and serving as a common goal for the discussion group. In their exchange, the participants were asked to think of CONCRETE ACTIONS to be undertaken by themselves or their respective organisations IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS in order to achieve the statement assigned to their group by 2030, bearing in mind the synergies and trade-offs inherent to this transformation.
The eight statements – discussed in eleven groups – were developed on the basis of the FIVE ACTION TRACKS (ATs) OF THE FSS, and of the food systems approach of the 2030 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (SDS) of the Federal Council. In this way, the dialogue also contributed to the discussion in Switzerland on the development and implementation of various policy instruments. The SDS indicates four strategic directions to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food systems in Switzerland and abroad. These directions are: 1) fostering sustainable diets; 2) decreasing food wastage; 3) increasing sustainability along the food value chain; and 4) strengthening the resilience of the food system. All of the eight topics of the FSSD were aligned with these four directions of the SDS.
This event constituted the third and last stage in the process of the multi-stakeholder National FSSD of Switzerland. It built upon a first national workshop held on 23 March 2021 during which participants addressed the challenges of their food systems and discussed concrete actions to support their transformation, and a series of “City Dialogues” organised in May 2021 in three linguistic regions of the country by the Cities of Bellinzona, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich in collaboration with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation on behalf of the Federal Office for Agriculture of Switzerland (FOAG) to discuss possible solutions at local level.