EAT Stockholm Food Forum call for a ‘revolution’ to transform the global food system
The EAT Stockholm Food Forum took place on June 11-12 in Stockholm, Sweden. It is for the first time being jointly hosted by EAT and the Government of Sweden. With more than 600 delegates from over 60 countries, the forum is the largest to date.
Key goals of the event were to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new collaborations across a broad range of sectors and groups to compel science-led action, focusing on five main areas:
• Shifting toward healthy diets
• Sustainably managing lands and oceans
• Eliminating food loss and waste
• Technology that’s transforming our food system
• Recipes for better yields and better nutrition
Speakers included experts from government, cities, business, academia, philanthropy, the culinary community and civil society, including three members of the SUN Lead Group: Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD; Sania Nishtar, co-chair of WHO’s high-level commission on non-communicable diseases; and David Nabarro curator of Food System Dialogues and 2018 World Food Prize Laureate. SUN Movement Coordinator Gerda Verburg lead one of the Disruptive Dialogues during the forum, “The Big catch: collaborative ocean action towards food security”.
Call for ‘Revolution’
The leaders gathered at the fifth annual EAT Forum called for a ‘revolution’ to transform the global food system and tackle one of our time’s biggest challenges. “We need nothing less than a revolution,” said Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s deputy prime minister and minister for international development cooperation and climate, in her opening speech. “We need to steer our planet in a new direction and a new development paradigm that has the health of the planet and its inhabitants center.”
About half the world’s population is suffering from malnutrition and hunger is again on the rise globally. At the same time, overweight and obesity continue to increase, impacting more than 2 billion children and adults. Food production is also the biggest cause of global environmental degradation, with the agricultural sector being the single-largest contributor to climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss.
With just 12 years to achieve the world’s most ambitious development targets –the UN Sustainable Development Goals– there is an urgent need to transform our food system to put us on a path that will support a healthy world population and planet.
Professor Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, echoed Lövin’s call for a food system revolution. Rockström and Sania Nishtar, co-chair of WHO’s high-level commission on non-communicable diseases, warned of troubling trends despite mounting international support for transforming the global food system. The prevalence of diabetes has doubled in the last 30 years and global shifts to unhealthy diets risk undermining the health gains of the past 50 years, said Nishtar.
SUN Nutrition Champions @EAT
At the EAT Forum 2018, the SUN Nutrition Champions shared their experiences in different Disruptive Dialogues and side events. They demonstrated the progress and challenges of scaling up nutrition, in practice in their countries. The SUN Nutrition Champions –including 2017 laureates and short-listed champions– put into practice lessons learnt during the first of its kind three-day training leading up to the event. During the two-day event, the SUN Champions had the opportunity to exchange ideas, challenges and opportunities with some of the brightest minds from science, politics, business and civil society who gathered in Stockholm to explore a range of solutions for achieving healthy and sustainable diets for a growing global population.