The first workshop of the EU-funded “Farm to Fork” project funded by the European Union will take place via video-conference on 28-29 June 2022. Key experts, policy makers as well as stakeholders and civil servants from the European Union and Israel will participate in focused discussions around “Sustainable Food Systems” topics.
“If food security is in danger, then we need to have another look at the objectives of the Farm to Fork strategy and correct them,” said EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski on 2 March 2022, after a special meeting with EU ministers in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine.
Climate change, loss of biodiversity, degradation of the environment and the oceans are posing threats to human life and more broadly, to life on Earth. The government of Israel, having already faced some of these global threats as well as soil depletion, extreme weather events, coastal erosion and nutrition issues, has put plans and strategies in place to address these negative impacts. The two-day online workshop on 28 and 29 June seeks to provide an arena to find the common grounds, principles and types of actions that would further develop the cooperation between Israel and the EU on its “Farm to Fork Strategy”.
The main purpose of this technical workshop is to provide a platform to experts from the EU and Israel to discuss and identify where and how EU-Israel cooperation could be reinforced and coordinated at the political and technical levels, targeting sustainability and resilience of food systems.
Discussions will cover the following main topics: Dialogue on Soil health and innovation; Dialogue on sustainable use of pesticides; and Dialogue on food loss and waste. All three topics should allow looking into strategies, policies and practices, harnessing the multiple stakeholders of the food systems and the different levels of changes that would be desirable. Presentations from speakers will be followed by a panel discussion on existing or foreseeable synergies between approaches that could pave the way for collaboration, including how this collaboration could support the transition at global level.
The adjustment of food systems, which were also documented and called upon in the UN Sustainable Food Systems Summit in September 2021, needs to take into account the various contextual differences across the planet regarding cross cutting issues such as land degradation or food loss that ultimately affect how food is produced, processed, transported and consumed.
The question of sustainable food systems goes beyond the means of production and is also subjected to several nutrition challenges such as undernutrition and hunger. These challenges persist while new and multiple forms of malnutrition rise. In particular, food-borne non-communicable diseases such as cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular conditions put pressure on people and health systems.
Although global awareness grows, commitments are made and some solutions are designed and implemented, there is still a need to rapidly and firmly put more actions in place and to foster a worldwide cooperation and coordination. Like the EU, Israel is committed to resolving these challenges and is working on global and local responses.
This series of regional and country-focused workshops is funded by the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments under the Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F), which is the EU plan to contribute to solve food challenges if they are adequately adjusted, and, to this end, proposes pathways for change towards sustainability that provides environmental, health, social and economic benefits.