Food systems are complex systems. And this has been restated by the High-Level Panel on Food which has described them as “relationships that support food production, food supply chains, food environments, the behaviours of individual consumers, diets, and nutritional and wider outcomes that feed back into the system.” Indeed, our daily decisions on our food intake and dietary preferences have an impact on bigger large-scale interconnected processes with important economic, environmental, socio-cultural and policy implications. We might not realise this, but what we choose to eat is part of the bigger web that could affect other systems negatively, positively, or both.
Food loss and food waste emerge as one of the major challenges of our current food systems. FAO estimated that there are 800 million people suffering from hunger every day. However, at the same time, one third of our global food is going to waste. The food crisis that the world is facing is not only due to food scarcity, but also due to poor logistics embedded in its food value chains. The existing power imbalances in terms of participation in the food systems, access and control over food resource, food loss, nutritional deficiency, and other interconnected issues are an indicator of how inequality is deeply rooted in our food systems. These need to be unveiled, exposed, and discussed.
Movements are rising to make our food systems more sustainable through concepts such as “farm to table” restaurants, circular economy in food, food trucks, and agri-tourism to diversify the livelihood of rural communities. Hence, it is important to unpack the food systems by directly hearing the story from various actors involved (farmers, traders, consumers, chefs, etc) and discuss how we can create a better loop to bring a more positive outcome to the people and the planet!
- Janina Peter, Founder of Good Consulting, Food Systems Hero for the United Nations Food Systems Summit and Food Systems Project Manager for Thought For Food
- Radhika Khandelwal, Chef and Owner of Radish Hospitality and a member of the Chef’s Manifesto
- Haiya Zhang, Coffee Supply Chain Professional and Sustainable Management Services Manager of ECOM China
- Tsholofelo Wechoemang, Published Author, #FoodSecurityFriday Podcaster and the co-founder and CEO of Selah SA
- Kuntum Melati, Research Associate, SEI Asia
- Sofia Anna Enrica Cavalleri, Research Associate, SEI Asia
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