On Tuesday 29 June the Cambridge Global Food Security held its first online public engagement webinar within the sustainability theme of the #AnnualFoodAgenda 2020, a project powered by EIT Food and financed by the European Union.
The panel made of Dr Nazia Mintz Habib (Director of the Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme), Gemma Birley (Director of the Cambridge Sustainability Food), and Silvia Lazzaris (journalist for EIT Food FoodUnfolded) and chaired by Dr Jag Srai (Director of the Institute for Manufacturing) discussed what makes a food system resilient and which players need to be considered and included to ensure that the system really is; particular emphasis was given to communities and the need to raise awareness among consumers of the origins and impact on the environment so that they can make more informed decisions e.g. is local always better? Or would seasonal be a better choice? Is organic food more sustainable as well as healthier given its lower impact on the environment thanks to fewer pesticides?
The panel also discussed that it is paramount to take into account the whole picture and that what happens in other parts of the world has great impacts on us too e.g. the shortage of flour was also due by the export restrictions that some countries in Central Asia imposed to control the Covid-19. Also a more transparent system which informs consumers about what is in the food they eat, how it is produced, and its carbon footprint will assist in making the system more resilient and sustainable- blockchain and labelling were discussed by the Panel as tools that the industry should adopt to ensure transparency and improve trust among consumers in the food they eat.
The debate was captured by talented illustrator Manja Eland who created a picture of the key messages of the event.
More 100 people registered for the event. The event was recorded and the recording has been made available on the Global Food Security website.