An agrifood revolution is here and the industry is fast changing. Can we create results-oriented regulations that will increase multi-stakeholder trust within the food supply chain while continuing to advance technology and innovation?
Future Agro Challenge brought trust to the epicenter of the broken food puzzle global dialogue at the UNCFS45, engaging in a multi-stakeholder panel discussion with:
- David Davies is the founder of AgUnity a philanthropic venture that provides a smartphone and blockchain solution to improve trust and cooperation for smallholder farmers.
- Martin Maerkl is the Senior Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Bayer, responsible for agricultural topics with a focus on rural development, food security and sustainable agriculture.
- Brigitte Laliberté coordinates the Cocoa of Excellence Programme (CoEx) and International Cocoa Awards (ICA) and the Global Network for Cacao Genetic Resources (CacaoNet) at Bioversity International.
- Geoff Dooley began his farming career in 1991 and today manages beef, forestry and energy crop businesses. In 2010, he put together the strategy that founded XLVets in Ireland, a professional network of 27 farm animal veterinary practices.
- Thato Moagi is the managing director of Legae La Banareng Farms in South Africa. Legae La Banareng Farms focuses on the commercial production of grains, pastures, produce, and livestock. The company’s focus is on youth development and has a hands-on training programme for aspiring farmers.
- Riccardo Mazzucchelli currently works on the Social Innovation Team Roma, which aims to reform export laws against Andean Parliament Member Countries (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru). He is also a professor of International Organizations and Development at Universita la Sapienza.
- Barbara Bray is a Food Safety and Nutrition consultant, as well as the Technical Manager with Bakkavor, an international food manufacturer. A regular speaker at events on the subject of nutrition and food production, she completed a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2018 focusing on the vegetable sector and how it can focus on providing solutions to nutritional problems.
The lack of confidence that appears to be present across the breadth of the agrifood chain is exacerbated by a lack of proper information on the use of technology in breeding, food production, and distribution systems. Faced with the challenge to feed 9 billion people by 2050, this side event aimed to promote collaboration and give birth to ideas, initiatives, and proposals that contribute to a common agrifood innovation ecosystem.
Participants concluded that trust requires transparency, visibility and a seat at the table. Trust cannot occur without dialogue, and FAC was acknowledged to bring the central focus of trust for the first time to the UNCFS as a side event. The dialogue was focused on how we could advance innovation if trust is currently eliminated. However, the driving force of innovation is fear which that itself lacks trust.
In conclusion, clear rules and policies could enable trust and that must be the role of the government. All sectors have a role to play in enabling trust. As very well stated by Catherine Stephenson, Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of Australia, “it is government’s role to provide a safe environment for trade to happen.”