ProVeg International is not only a big player in the food industry sector, but is also increasingly making its mark in the political arena. In the first half of 2021, we participated in numerous political processes. Prior to the Food Systems Pre-Summit taking place this July, we hosted an Independent Dialogue1 which gathered together stakeholders from both the private and public sector, including various United Nations bodies. And for the High-Level Political Forum2, we contributed to a position paper focusing on climate change, its impacts, and possible solutions. While we have hit the first milestones of our road to COP26, there are many more to come.
We co-hosted an Independent Food Systems Summit Dialogue
Together with the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, we co-hosted an Independent Food Systems Summit Dialogue on 21 May this year. During the summit, we discussed the driving forces of behavioural changes that are needed for more climate-friendly and resilient food systems. We stressed that the time to act is now – policy makers must urgently implement coherent policies at all levels, including subsidies towards a just livestock transition, fair taxation, healthier catering, improving national dietary guidelines, and making plant-rich diets the norm. It’s crucial to highlight the co-benefits of a food-systems shift and insist on the need for bold and immediate actions around diets and agriculture. You can read the feedback report from the summit here.
In 2020, ProVeg applied to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and we are very happy to announce that we will officially be supporting the initiative. The Decade runs from 2021 through 2030 – which is also the deadline for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We are raising our voice together with other NGOs
In the coming months, we will continue to play an essential role in influencing policy makers and other stakeholders. In July, the High-Level Political Forum will take place. As a member of the NGO Major Group, ProVeg contributed to the position paper that was submitted in June to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). In this paper, urgent actions and possibilities for civil society to be involved in each SDG are highlighted. We included the following recommendations:
- Incorporating plant-based dietary diversification in order to tackle undernutrition and hunger (SDG 2).
- Developing more plant-based and cultured alternatives in order to make our production and consumption patterns more sustainable (SDG 12).
- Accelerating the shift towards more plant-based diets in order to make our current food system more sustainable and climate-resilient (SDG 13).
There is still a lot on our plate
However, there is still plenty to do and we will seize further opportunities to put our topics on the UN agenda. For example:
- In South Africa, we sent a letter to the Climate Secretariat of the Department of Forestries, Fisheries and the Environment, underlining necessary elements to include in their future climate plan.
- In Germany, we are preparing for the national elections coming up in September and figuring out how parties stand on climate-friendly diets.
- In the US, we worked towards the success of Washington DC becoming the first state to set GHG reduction targets for food purchasing.
- Later this month, ProVeg International will be hosting two parallel sessions on climate change and food innovation during the Food System Pre-Summit in Rome.
- All European ProVeg offices worked together to stop the AM171 amendment that threatened to censor plant-based-dairy products.
- In the coming weeks, we will continue to join forces with other effective organisations in order to help build better, healthier, and more sustainable food systems and ensure that we will be ready for COP26, happening in Glasgow in November.
- Independent Food Systems Dialogues are organised from the civil society and other stakeholders to contribute to the United Nations Food Systems Summit which is a one time opportunity for every participant to bring new actions, innovative solutions and food systems transformation on the table.
- The High-Level Political Forum brings together complex and far-ranging issues and perspectives about the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).