A spotlight on the food and nutrition research agenda at Expo Milano
On 8th May 2015, the European Union (EU) hosted the conference, “Towards a Research Agenda for Global Food and Nutrition Security”. The high level event officially launched a series of discussions about the role of science, research and innovation in overcoming challenges of feeding a growing population sustainably, with limited natural resources. The conference brought together international actors from politics, the scientific community, industry and civil society.
The discussion paper “The Role of Research in Global Food and Nutrition Security” was presented and its seven themes were discussed. The seven themes identify what must be overcome in order to face the challenges of undernutrition, hunger and disease associated with poor food choices.
Tom Arnold, Coordinator of the SUN Movement (ad interim) gave the key note speech. He shared his thoughts about the discussion paper and the crucial role of the research community in supporting government priorities to achieve greater impact in food and nutrition security. He said, “We have reached a turning point, food and nutrition security has become a priority, let’s find out how the EU scientific community can add value to this broad agenda”.
Would you like to join the discussion?
The consultation is available online for input by all interested stakeholders until 1 September.
The consultation will underpin the debate on a future research agenda to help tackle global food and nutrition security challenges. It will focus on the areas where the EU’s research efforts can have the strongest impact, such as how to improve public health through nutrition, increase food safety and quality, reduce food loss and waste, make rural development more sustainable, increase agricultural yields through sustainable intensification, as well as how to better understand food markets and increase access to food for people around the world. The results of the consultation will be published on 15 October, ahead of World Food Day, and will contribute to shape the EU’s legacy for Expo 2015.
The Joint Reseach Centre (JRC) is leading the coordination of the Steering Committee of the EU scientific programme for Expo Milano 2015. This is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Parliament was launched on 21st March 2014. A final event will be held in October 2015 to present a set of widely consulted recommendations to inform decision makers of the future priorities of research, development and innovation in the food and agriculture sector. The process will incorporate how the recommendations in the discussion paper can best be implemented both within the EU institutions and beyond, after Milano Expo.
Beyond the EU scientific programme, Expo Milano 2015 has already begun to develop an atmosphere of creativity and engagement. It is inspiring discussion and communication about nutrition due to its theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. Some SUN Countries have individual buildings and others are featured in groups of big exports including rice, coffee and chocolate. In addition to showcasing food products, some countries are taking the opportunity to showcase their unique cultures too.
Many of the stands are supported by home county governments with support coming directly from ministries of trade, tourism and in some cases, organised through joint partnership with national cooperatives and associations.