Better collaboration with the private sector to ensure healthy diets for all


Geneva, 21 July 2020 - 

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Executive Director Lawrence Haddad today agreed that greater efforts must be made to transform food systems through innovative collaboration with the private sector, during a virtual round table on Business Strategies on Delivery of Healthy Diets for a Healthy Planet

The event, co-organised by the FAO and GAIN, gathered representatives from governments, the private sector, farmers organizations and civil society and academia to discuss and identify how and what businesses can do to provide consumers with healthy diets.

"The food systems transformation we are calling for must link solutions of food insecurity to increased access to healthy diets. Food systems must be transformed to be resilient and sustainable; and with a focus on quality diets. This food systems transformation requires all actors to step-up, and play a more active role," FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in his opening remarks.

Acknowledging that providing healthy diets for all will require a collective effort, Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director at GAIN underscored the role that businesses have to play in this.

"All businesses, whether big, medium and small; whether in food, transport, storage, finance, or advertising - have a role to play.  And the rest of us have an incentive to help them do that," he said in his opening remarks. He also thanked the FAO Director-General for his strong leadership in the context of the launch last week of the State of Food Security and Nutrition Report 2020 (SOFI) under the theme: "Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets." 

Stand of fruits and vegetables

The food systems transformation we are calling for must link solutions of food insecurity to increased access to healthy diets. Food systems must be transformed to be resilient and sustainable; and with a focus on quality diets. © Unsplash

The three-day virtual roundtable event which ends on Thursday, aims to help frame commitments from the private sector to support countries and small to medium enterprises (SMEs), and jointly address the challenges related to delivering heathy diets.

The food systems transformation we are calling for must link solutions of food insecurity to increased access to healthy diets.

QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO

FAO's Director-General stressed the importance his organization is giving to strengthening collaboration with the private sectors, including farmers, noting that "FAO is currently revising its strategy for engagement with the private sector. We are doing this through an open and interactive consultation process with different private sector entities providing us with useful inputs to consider going forward". 

The virtual roundtable is part of a trio of virtual webinars which will result in key recommendations and acts as preludes to upcoming events like the Nutrition for Growth Summit in Tokyo and the Food Systems Summit called by the UN's Secretary General for 2021.

All businesses, whether big, medium and small; whether in food, transport, storage, finance, or advertising - have a role to play.  And the rest of us have an incentive to help them do that.

Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN

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