Food Systems Consultative Meeting for the Global Strategy on SCP & SDG12
This meeting was convened by the One Planet network Secretariat (10YFP) in close cooperation and co-leadership with One Planet network’s Sustainable Food Systems programme, UNEP and FAO to discuss the Global Strategy on Sustainable Consumption and Production and SDG12 in the Food Systems sector.
2022 is a key transition year for the UN Framework for Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) and its One Planet network (OPN). The Second Committee of the UN General Assembly approved the extension of the 10YFP mandate, which confirms the need for an ambitious post-2022 Global Strategy for SDG 12 and SCP. Developing a new strategy will enable the One Planet network to join hands with other actors, alliances and partnerships working on the transition to a more sustainable, low carbon, inclusive and circular economy, to more rapidly achieve the scale of the economic transformation required.
This consultation on food systems is part of the “scoping phase” of the strategy roadmap, which was elaborated in close consultation with Member States and partners and aims at identifying priority areas and actions that can shift the needle in high-impact systems/sectors and where the strategy and the One Planet network can have strong added value. The main objectives of this consultative meeting were to collect inputs from key stakeholder, partnerships and alliances for the global strategy, to identify priority interventions and approaches needed in Food Systems, and to find the key areas of collaboration and a set of catalytic partnerships and tools to be scaled up or developed under the Global Strategy with and across the One Planet network.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the points and suggestions that were brought up during the meeting:
The Coordination Hub and supporting the National Pathways
- The Coordination hub will mirror what food systems coordination should look like at a country level. It will look at national pathway follow-up, stakeholder involvement, advocacy. The aim is to make this Hub a one stop shop available for all the countries.
- This should include direction on how to support countries to integrate food systems in NDCs. The network should seek to harmonize the SFS Hub with the SDG 12 Hub and encourage countries to connect national SCP strategies/roadmaps/workplans and SFS national pathways.
Enhanced collaboration across and beyond the food systems and OPN
- Participants stressed the importance to make a better use of collaboration with stakeholders from other systems/sectors and fields in order to support sustainable transformation of food systems:
- The Whole-of-Government approach to including ministries of economy, health, industry, finance, in addition to environment and agriculture should be involved.
- Private sector and consumer groups should be engaged more.
- Work with existing initiatives and conventions tackling the triple planetary crisis.
- Enterprises associations, agriculture expert practitioners.
The role of governments and regulators
- There should be a focus on addressing perverse subsidies and incentives from governments and reorienting toward positive outcomes, such as agroecology and a regenerative food system.
- The role of local governments should be better highlighted (including entry points such as food environment, food waste management and urban and peri-urban agriculture) in the urban food systems transformation.
- SCP should be fully integrated in public procurement stages. OPN Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) programme launched a new interest group on food procurement. This can be an opportunity to work across programmes on food systems. Similar types of initiatives can be great entry points for cooperation.
- Provide financial incentives and capacity building for small, medium and large food manufacturers for resource efficiency and cleaner production as well as valorisation of industrial transformation by-products.
Private sector engagement
- It was agreed that private sector engagement (including SMEs) is essential to deliver the National Pathways and achieve SFS and that it is crucial to bring private sector elements into policy discussions. It should be an important component of the new strategy.
- The OPN programmes need to better embed the private sector (incl. retailers, global food bands) involvement and to ensure better communication with businesses to support the transformational initiatives. Private sector initiatives like the Consumer Goods Forum or the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, already have some links to these organisations, which should be utilised more.
Addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution
- It is important to closely cooperate with and get inputs from actors working on tackling the triple planetary crises and specifically with important MEAs, such as, CBD, UNCCD, BRS, SAICM and UNFCCC.
- Create clear link between SFS action and its contribution to climate change and biodiversity goals (e.g., inclusion of food system in NDCs and integration of upcoming CBD biodiversity goals).
- Engage public and private sector waste collectors, management companies and organisations like International Solid Waste Association.
Achieving healthy & sustainable diets for all
- Sustainable healthy diets should be an important outcome of the strategy. OPN should ensure there is close cooperation with actors from the health sector. This can be strengthened through collaboration with the Coalition on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food System and the School Meals Coalition.
- Interconnectedness of human, animal and planetary health is an important element to consider and should be a strategic priority. More details can be found in this WHO publication - Food systems delivering better health. Leverage the One Health concept given importance of public health framing for individuals.
- There is an opportunity to explore specific partnership, such as with the chefs to facilitate industry transition towards healthy and sustainable diets - Chefs' Manifesto at EAT.
Communications, advocacy and monitoring
- OPN needs to be clear on who is to be reached through advocacy and design strategically its advocacy goals.
- Ensure to continue mainstreaming and keeping the momentum that has been achieved in the past year.
- Align and simplify main targets across different initiatives, such as top 3 changes we want to achieve, to ensure clear communication messages.
- Consultation participants also highlighted that even though the strategy is aimed at 2030, it is important to also set shorter concrete targets (e.g., 2-3 years’ timeframe) in order to better monitor and communicate progress.
Data, Tools & Instruments
- The participants highlighted that OPN should provide standard tools, enhance research on gaps and develop evidence of good practices and case studies for concrete steps in different stages of the food value chain and/or parts of food systems
- Deliver data and evaluation of the effectiveness of food systems policy and tools/methods - evidence-driven action.
- Move towards outcome-based indicators to define what is a sustainable food system (e.g., soil health, carbon absorption, etc.)