Reflections on a Unique and Significant Year for Food Systems with NFP Executive Director Myrtille Danse

As 2021 draws to a close in what has effectively been NFP’s inaugural full year, Executive Director Myrtille Danse takes stock and reflects on progress made and some of the key outcomes from the last 12 months. Myrtille also sheds some light on her vision for the next phase of NFP's role as a key convener, whilst expressing her optimism that clarity and detailed guidance towards future priorities has now been provided, through events such as the UN food Systems Summit and COP26.

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Reflecting on Progress

Backbone Strengthening

“This year we have been able to provide more strategic support to coalition development processes. These coalitions aim to contribute to a broad range of food system challenges in Africa, Asia and the Mid East, including climate smart solutions to agro-food production, circular agricultural solutions to decrease food waste, bridging the digital divide to create more inclusive local food systems, and the development of locally adapted food production and distribution systems to increase the access to healthy diets for lower income consumers. The coalition partners lead the change agenda. Whilst NFP in our role as a convenor, ensure we offer clear added value in the coalition development process."

"Our networking events connect people and ideas through knowledge, innovation and capacity development which accelerates coalition development. Our backbone services enable collective impact coalitions to consolidate and scale up their impact. We also facilitate policy dialogues and support partners by helping to connect all the dots at different levels, both in country as well as at regional and global level, In doing so, NFP can ultimately play a more integrating role in the support of food system transformation and ending hunger. I’m very satisfied that these types of coalitions are starting to knock on our door and that we’re now moving towards the food systems challenges that need to be solved.”

Driving the Dialogue Forward

“In addition, what has also made me very enthusiastic this year, is that we’ve been able to demonstrate our added value in the policy dialogue by supporting the whole process of working towards the objectives of the Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), whilst acting as a neutral party to bring different food systems actors together to discuss and make decisions.”

“It has been an extraordinary year in our field of work, UNFSS has resulted in a very detailed insight and roadmap on where the priorities should be in terms of our focus on lower middle income countries for the coming years. This provides us with a solid base that we can work from to contribute to food systems transformation. There was also a very exciting outcome from COP26, perhaps not to the level we had hoped, however the importance of joining forces became very clear, to making climate change a priority and ensure the nexus of food systems and climate is higher up on the agenda. In addition, the Nutrition for Growth Summit was held towards the end of the year, so from the perspective of global agendas and rolling these out into international action, we have a very interesting base to further build on in the next few years."

Supporting International Policy Vision

At a national level, in addition to the coalition agreement, the international policy vision from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is about to be approved. This will again provide us with further guidance on where the priorities should be for us and our partners.”

“Next year we will continue our cooperation with Dutch Embassies and locally based Dutch companies and INGOs to tackle food security priorities, so we’ll develop a mechanism through which more parties can respond earlier or present their requests to us at an earlier stage. We are also working to solidify an alignment between the coalition development process and some of the initiatives that emerged from UNFSS and COP26, on topics such as ‘true price’ and the work we’re about to launch with Clim-Eat."

Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond

“There’s so much to contribute from the Netherlands in terms of working on Food Systems improvements in LMIC’s, but also so much to learn. We very much look forward to continuing the work with existing and new partners in 2022. After this transition year, we are very well positioned to further scale up our support. It’s of course been another challenging 12 months due to the pandemic. However I’d like to wish everybody a well deserved break and holiday, that's disconnected from the online environment we've all become accustomed to, whilst taking time out to recuperate and most importantly keeping healthy and safe."

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