Achieving the 2030 Agenda: Is food the key?

17.07.18 | News
Dinner HLPF 2018
Johannes Berg
Nordic Food Policy Lab and the Swedish government co-host a side-event at the UN High-level Political Forum in New York to discuss food as a golden opportunity within the sustainable development agenda.

On Monday 16 July, representatives from 14 country delegations, United Nations agencies, philanthropic organizations, civil society and the food industry convened to discuss the role that food policy plays in achieving the SDG12 and 2 targets in particular.

By shifting from a challenge-centric to solutions-oriented dialogue, the Serving up solutions to the 2030 Agenda: Food as a golden opportunity event set out to identify the policy tools that will help us to shift food consumption.

From challenges to solutions

Each of the attendees – from Mexico to Estonia  – brought their solutions to the table, discussing tangible actions for successful implementation of food policy through the novel lens of food culture.

“Food has been politically sensitive but we can’t ignore it any longer. We all know that we need to change food consumption patterns, and in many parts of the world we will need to reduce meat consumption,” noted Karolina Skog, the Swedish Minister of the Environment and host for the event.

Mr. Sam Kass, Former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition also emphasized the power of food to transform our societies, and described why he decided to work for food culture change: “Food is really powerful. There are not a lot of other areas where you can have such profound impact on the quality of people’s lives and that of the planet.”

Shifting the policy paradigm

Journalist, Joe Fassler, of The New Food Economy, summed up the evenings discussions:

  1. It’s about people. When we talk about food policy we need to think about culture as a vital force for change
  2. Chefs can make the sometimes difficult behaviour change needed digestible - and show the deliciousness of alternatives.
  3. Build policy based on the links and shared values between actors and find areas where there is mutual buy in
  4. Harness the power of youth: they see potential and possibilities and don’t accept status quo
  5. Share a meal! Experience the unusual ways that food connects us and how it can helps us learn from one another

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The event was made possible by support of the Generation 2030 Programme