Transforming Our Global Food System in Harmony with the Planet and People

November 18, 2022

A Conversation Following COP27

Access to adequate and nutritious food is a human right and undeniably linked to achieving a sustainable and healthy planet. At the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), our global food systems took center stage. As the negotiations in Egypt concluded, we continued the conversation online with a diverse panel of representatives from across the food system discussing  sustainable solutions to transform our food system for the planet and its people.

The panel was moderated by Tim Prewitt, President and CEO of The Hunger Project, and featured five experts who work toward ending world hunger and mitigating climate change: Abraham Bugre, Climate Change Consultant at Gen Green Consult; Daniel Lutaaya, Animator and Farmer Facilitator in Uganda; Victor Mugo Muiru, Head of Global Partnerships at World Food Forum; Irene Naikaali, Head of Programs at THP Uganda; and Hanna Thofelt Lindström, Head of Communications and Impact at Matsmart/Motatos. 

The panelists shared their experiences on tackling a broken global food system: from using sustainable farming methods, to increase productivity of smallholder farmers, to how to support communities to overcome a lack of food storage infrastructure, to decreasing food waste at grocery stores. 

Throughout the conversation, it was clear that there needs to be increased collaboration between stakeholders and sectors. The panelists agreed that innovative programs and projects that are making a difference in communities need to be scaled and more partners need to be brought together to implement what works.

“We need to leave our egos and logos behind to come together.” 

Victor Mugo Muiru

Head of Global Partnerships at World Food Forum

The panelists also emphasized the importance of enrolling youth in sustainable agriculture efforts. Youth are the future and need to be mobilized to make changes on the farm and throughout the food system. Similarly, several panelists pointed out that women must be engaged as part of any sustainability effort, particularly women who are smallholder farmers. 

The Audience Q&A allowed for a deeper discussion about investor engagement and the role of funding strategies, prompting deliberations on funding harmonization, support and innovation. The conversation then shifted into the importance of working toward gender-equality when leveraging greener but more labor-demanding regenerative agriculture practices.

Transforming our global food system in harmony with the planet and its people is an urgent conversation happening around the world. We must support the most vulnerable as they bear the brunt of climate change and work towards a sustainable agricultural future at the regional, national and global levels.

If you didn’t have the opportunity to join us for the panel discussion, you can watch the recording here:

Image above: Hadija from Uganda, 2021

Photo for The Hunger Project by Martin Kharumwa