Making policies work

On the road to the UN Food Systems Summit

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In September 2021, the United Nations Food Systems Summit aims to launch bold new actions to further progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, all of which depend to some degree on our food systems becoming fairer, healthier and more sustainable.

In the lead-up to the Summit, international organisations, governments, knowledge institutes, companies, civil society organisations and private citizens have been discussing ways to transform our food systems by improving access to safe and nutritious food, promoting sustainable consumption patterns, boosting nature-positive production, advancing equitable livelihoods and strengthening resilience to shocks.

ECDPM is exploring important issues emerging from these discussions. We are particularly interested in the politics and power dynamics influencing the Summit and the actions it will launch. We are also exploring how global governance can be improved to better support food system transformations, how to finance these transformations and how African and European regional and continental organisations and policy frameworks can support these transformations.

In the months leading up to and following the Summit, we will share updates, papers and views on these and related issues here. You can also join this conversation on Twitter via @ECDPM and make sure to get in contact with our programme staff – Francesco Rampa, Sean Woolfrey, Hanne Knaepen, Paulina Bizzotto Molina, Koen Dekeyser and Cecilia D’Alessandro.


20 September

Our hopes for the UN Food Systems Summit
The Food Systems Summit will certainly not provide all the answers we need, but here are four crucial things Sean Woolfrey, Cecilia D’Alessandro, Paulina Bizzotto Molina and Hanne Knaepen hope leaders at the Summit will do.

16 September

A missed opportunity to preserve oasis agriculture in Gabès, Tunisia?
In her article in Fair Planet, Hanne Knaepen explores the challenges to the sustainability of the local agri-food system in Gabès and asks if the UN Food Systems Summit could end up being a missed opportunity.

15 September

Ahead of the UN Food System Summit next week, ECDPM’s Paulina Bizzotto Molina spoke to Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at John Hopkins University, and Alejandro Guarin, Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) about the Food Systems Monitoring Project, which aims to collect the highest quality data to measure the performance of food systems and increase the accountability of policymakers.

In this three-part interview, they dive into the goals of this project, the impact it can have on the ground and what needs to happen the day after the UN Food Systems Summit.

Watch part 1 here:

Watch part 2 here:

Watch part 3 here:

15 July

5 July

Power, politics and inclusion in food systems: The case of Sudan
In this commentary, Paulina Bizzotto Molina argues that we need to look at power dynamics to transform our food systems and make them sustainable. She uses the case of Sudan to illustrate why local policymakers should adopt a politically sensitive approach when designing and implementing food policies.

More work on sustainable food systems

You can find more information on our work on sustainable food systems here.