Malnutrition in all its forms continues to be one of the greatest challenges faced by our generation. While undernutrition persists in some countries, we are witnessing an unprecedented rise in obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Once considered a problem of high-income countries, obesity and overweight are now also on the rise in low- and middle-income countries.
Although currently, the world produces enough food to feed everyone, 821 million people were undernourished in 2017 (FAO et al., 2018). This situation does not reflect only a lack of food access but also highlights economic and social inequalities generated by current food systems (Béné et al., 2019).
FAO, an international organization with the vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition, is deeply engaged in the discourse around the future of food and food systems. Future food and agriculture must move towards the path of sustainability- achieving more with less and producing safe and nutritious food for all while limiting the use of natural resources. This requires an integrated approach that incorporates food hazards control across the entire food system.
The first FAO/WHO Food safety conference held last Feb '19 in Addis Ababa emphasized the importance of “integrating food safety into national and regional policies […] by setting a firm political commitment and coherent action across multiple sectors in order to promote safe and diversified healthy diets”.
The Symposium on the Future of Food meeting will be held on 10 and 11 June 2019 at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States (FAO) headquarters in Rome. To inaugurate the two-day symposium, FAO is convening the Academia Perspective Roundtable on the 10 June 2019, to provide an opportunity for the representative of academia to lead policy reform, identify new interdisciplinary approaches and innovations, and understand societal needs and impacts to prepare for a viable food-secure future. Dr. Gareth Johnstone, WorldFish Director General will be participating in the roundtable discussion. This important dialogue will be a lead-in to The Future of Food Systems event with the purpose to promote best practices and new approaches for making food systems sustainable and capable of providing nutritious and sustainable diets for all by 2030.
The symposium will draw on up-to-date knowledge and innovations among the scientific community represented by academics and researchers from different universities, for addressing challenges related to the sustainability of food systems.