Liveblog | Pre-Summit Day 1

During the three day Pre-Summit in Rome Myrtille Danse, Netherlands Food Partnership’s delegate to the Pre-Summit will provide short insights. The Netherlands Food Partnership team who follows the Pre-Summit online will also share short updates of the programme, important outcomes and more.

Also read the live-blogs of Day 2 and Day 3

19:30 - 20:20 Affiliated session hosted by Netherlands Food Partnership

Addressing Food Systems Challenges from the viewpoint of design

This affiliated session presented the outcomes and opportunities from a unique collaboration between Netherlands Food Partnership, Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) and MANN in which SDG 2: Zero Hunger was re-framed through the medium of design.

DAE director Joseph Grima opened the session by stating that in order to preserve the relevance of design, we have to adapt to the new reality and engage with complex problems like zero hunger. Food systems professionals from DSM, CGIAR and Koppert Biological Systems reflected on the presentation of the best projects and the relevance for their work. ‘Some of the projects had a shocking effect on me, they helped me to see the urgency and the fragmented nature of the problems that we are facing’, said Namukolo Covic, senior researcher at CGIAR.

Screenshot 2021-07-27 at 23.24.03.png

Cornstitution - one of the presented projects

19.30 - 20.20 Affiliated session

Addressing Food Systems Hidden Costs as a Roadmap for Transformation

The Food System Economics Commission leads a conversation among experts, exploring how the transformation could be fostered through innovative and / or smart financial interventions. Panelists recommended to always taking into consideration the different aspects of financial markets and how they relate to transformation of food systems.

They listed multiple systemic solutions:

  • Develop better public policies, including those needed for an inclusive food system that works for all producers and all consumers;
  • Raising various taxes on food products that are unsustainable or unhealthy;
  • Tackling unfair trading and value chain characteristics; fostering labelling;
  • Redirecting subsidies;
  • Influencing international financial flows (public, private, consumer, even illicit flows if applicable);
  • Using the potential of technologies, e.g. digital tools that could nudge consumer behaviour;
  • Reconsider the terms of the financial analysis.
“Large scale shifts in consumer behaviour shift the way in which producers grow.”

Simon Zadek | Former UNEP finance specialist

19.30 - 20.20 Affiliated session hosed by Rabobank

Sustainable finance for food systems transformation: Setting the Agenda

Sustainable Finance is of key importance in the F&A space, given the fact that especially in this sector big steps need to be taken to become more sustainable, whilst simultaneously needing to feed an ever growing world population. The integration of sustainability KPIs is proving to be a way to incentivize organizations to set measurable and ambitious targets. In an industry where all steps towards sustainability are a welcome necessity, this specific aspect of Sustainable Finance is a useful tool. Read the concept note.

During this affiliated session Rabobank introduced it's sustainable link loans (rewards or fines when meeting agreed sustainability targets) and it's sustainability dashboard with insight in portfolio development.

The World Benchmarking Alliance introduced the Food Systems Benchmark report with 350 companies and their performance on environment, food nutrition security, social inclusion and governance/strategy.

basic slide speakers green copy.jpg

13:30-15:00 - People’s counter mobilisation

Dialogue – UNFSS and the Corporate Capture of Governance

The Autonomous People's Response to the UN Food Systems Summit is organised in parallel to the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit. Our team followed the rally on Sunday and a session today that included contributions from various panelists on the need to have accountable governance mechanisms in the food system. It is important to continue asking the questions: ‘Who creates the framework and who sets the agenda. Who takes decisions.‘ Speakers stated that the current system doesn’t work to foster e.g. local indigenous systems or nutritious diets. That the food system should be rights based and that agroecology should be its central focus. Mary Mudi from Zimbabwe promoted dietary diversity, using national food / dietary tables as a tool to enhance diverse nationally produced crops which are not only nutritious but also provide an opportunity for local farmers to earn an income.


12:00 - 13:30 Plenary hall

Science and Innovation for Food Systems Serving People and Planet

Strengthening the interface between science and policy has much potential to positively contribute to food system transformation. Ensuring participation and contributions from all partners in the system is essential.

Among speakers were Louise Fresco, Vice Chair of the Food Systems Summit Science Group, President of the executive board of Wageningen University & Research and Paul van de Logt, Head, Food and Nutrition Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his statement Paul van de Logt shared that “The success of the Dutch food systems is not only science, but the interaction with farmers, business and the government. This is a process and an interaction between different actors that creates an enabling environment for growth in agriculture and for change. That's something that we very much need now and that is also happening".

Schermafbeelding 2021-07-26 om 12.48.14.png

11: 30 - 13:30 Green Room

Achieving zero hunger: nutritiously and sustainably

A range of governments (amongst others the Philippines, Brazil, Norway, Ethiopia, Canada, Guatemala, Marocco) as well as private companies (like OLAM and Ajoinomoto) and other key international stakeholders (Nourishing Africa, the UN Decade for family farmers, African indigenous livelihoods organisation) are committed to contribute to this coalition. This means they renew their commitment to SDG2 and stress the importance of acting upon it.

The Government of Canada is most explicit about the funding they (will continue to) invest in ending hunger. Joachim von Braun called for frontloading the investment agenda to the first 5 years, to be sure it achieves its results by 2030. FAO Maximo Terero called for investments to be used efficiently and effectively, saying that packages of interventions are more effective than individual sets of interventions.

11:30 - 13:30 - Red Room

The triple challenge of meeting Food, Climate and Biodiversity Goals

Food Systems are the main contributor to climate change and biodiversity loss. Fixing the food system is the way to keep within planetary boundaries and achieve climate and biodiversity goals. How can 2021 be the start of a decade of action for achieving goals on food, climate and biodiversity?

Perspectives from governments, private sector, science and civil society were shared on how the goals and summits can be linked, the role of government and how to mobilize action.

Solutions shared:

  • Holistic solutions linking different agendas
  • Repurposing public support for food and agriculture
  • Building coalitions including private sector
  • Bottom up approach
  • Soil centric green revolution
  • Redesign production according to AE principles
  • Poverty reduction and just rural transition
  • (Financial) support to farmers (including smallholders, indigenous and women) to convert to nature positive production

There was a strong focus on a holistic systems approach and on linking the Food System Summit to other events, especially the climate and biodiversity summits in the fall of 2021.

Schermafbeelding 2021-07-26 om 12.26.29.png

Plenary opening 9:00 - 11:00

A Bold Ambition to Improve Food Systems

Laying the foundations and vision of success by various speakers. The 'Action Track Leads' expressed commitment to build better food systems and to the success of the Pre-Summit. Support for the full participation of indigenous peoples was called for by Anne Nuorgam, permanent forum indigenous issues.

World Food Programme Director David Beasly held a powerful speech calling for less talk, less meetings, more action, the time is now. We hope his speech is shared online as summarizing would not do you justice to his message. A good moment to start following us on Twitter!


The Netherlands Delegation was present during the plenary opening

8:00 - 8:30 Daily briefing

Netherlands delegation and Myrtille Danse CEO NFP

At the start of the Pre-Summit the delegation shared their programme of today and requested all who attend the Pre-Summit, affiliated sessions and the alternative summit to inform them via Netherlands Food Partnership or register for the daily briefings of tomorrow and wednesday.

Each morning from 8:00 - 8:30am a short virtual briefing will be held by the delegation of The Netherlands, for which Dutch stakeholders are invited. The delegation and Myrtille Danse will share their agenda for the day, and will welcome questions and inputs from participants. You can register here to receive the Zoom link. For those who are not able to attend the daily briefings in the morning, suggestions and questions can be sent to the team in the Netherlands via email.

Schermafbeelding 2021-07-26 om 08.17.15.png

Myrtille Danse (middle) and Paul van de Logt (right) during the daily briefing

Day 1 - 26 July

Programme suggestions

12:00-13:30 Science and Innovation for Food Systems Serving People and Planet (Features from the Scientific Group; An opportunity to understand key transitions, what is coming through from the Decade of Action, what it looks like and what is possible for ambitious outcomes). Paul van de Logt of the Netherlands delegation will present Register here to join the Pre-Summit

Hosted by Netherlands Food Partnership:

19:30 - 20:20 Addressing Food Systems Challenges from the viewpoint of design. Work from Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) students who participated in the Transforming Food Systems by Design project will be showcased at this evening side event . You can register to attend here

Connect with Myrtille during the Pre-Summit

Netherlands Food Partnership works with a broad range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and in low- and middle-income countries. As a convening platform and accelerator of impact coalitions we are committed to foster the inclusion of as many stakeholders as possible in the UN Food Systems Summit or Pre-Summit process. 'My aim is to build the understanding of the most promising transition pathways, whilst also bringing forward some of the findings from the food systems dialogues and network meetings held in the Netherlands during the run up to the Pre-Summit'. We realise that participation is challenging, particularly for smaller organisations and SMEs. That is why we have organised daily briefings and support for multiple initiatives, prior and during the Pre-Summit. 

Summit Preparations Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture