Forum 2017

The eighth edition of the International Forum was held on December 4-5, 2017, at the Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan. Food security, climate change and migration, sustainable food systems at the national and urban level, and European agricultural reform were at the heart of discussions at the BCFN Forum 2017.
On December 4, new generations were given a voice, involving young leaders from all over the world in two initiatives aimed at recognizing excellence: the Food Sustainability Media Award, for professional journalists and emerging talent in journalism, and the BCFNYES! contest, designed to reward young researchers and the most deserving projects focusing on “food and sustainability”.
On December 5, leading speakers from around the world discussed in depth the main topics of the event and engaged the participants through working sessions, thereby encouraging their active involvement.

THE FOOD SUSTAINABILITY INDEX: THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA – EXCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE AND SOLUTIONS

This session presented the main results of the new edition of the Food Sustainability Index (developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit with BCFN), focusing on a number of countries in the Mediterranean Area. The panelists discussed how the new knowledge generated by this edition of the FSI is be an asset for the development of policies to improve the sustainability of food systems in these areas. Participants played an active part in the discussion.

THE FOOD SUSTAINABILITY INDEX: THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA – EXCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE AND SOLUTIONS
FOOD SYSTEMS AND HEALTH – WHICH CHALLENGES AND IMPACTS FOR CHANGE

FOOD SYSTEMS AND HEALTH – WHICH CHALLENGES AND IMPACTS FOR CHANGE

This session focused on the fundamental relationship between food and health. The current global food system has a negative impact on health and well-being, ranging from food insecurity to chronic disease and environmental exploitation. The panel introduced the scientific evidence behind the health costs externalized by the global food system. Different perspectives were explored, including the Mediterranean and the Asian ones. The complexity of the issue requires multiple actions: there is no-one-size-fits-all solution to restore the balance between food, health and the environment, and the panelists discussed activities that support rebuilding food systems on new and healthier foundations. The audience actively engaged in the discussion.

URBAN SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS: EXCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE AND SOLUTIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA

As populations gravitate towards urban centers, the relationship between food systems and urbanization, people and the environment is crucial for the future of our planet. Cities are also decisive actors in tackling climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk. This session highlighted how improved urban food systems will help balance the economic, social, and environmental conditions using the Mediterranean area as an illustration of solutions that can be put in place. Panelists involved the audience by exploring good practices among the food chain, including food production, distribution and processing, marketing, consumption and waste and how cities can move concretely towards sustainability in the Mediterranean area.

URBAN SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS: EXCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE AND SOLUTIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN FOOD SYSTEMS

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN FOOD SYSTEMS

This session explored the future of food system innovation and the biggest ideas that will shape our world in terms of sustainability in the agri-business sector, food security and healthy food access. Indeed, effective agricultural research and innovation systems could ensure the access of adequate supplies of high-quality and nutritious food to all and in a sustainable way. The session highlighted the most innovative solutions and breakthroughs, emphasizing the role of academia, institutions and private sector in order to see how they are interacting and facilitating the implementation of these innovations in various parts of the world.

CLIMATE, CHANGE, FOOD SECURITY AND MIGRATIONS ‒ WHICH PERSPECTIVES?

This session explored the geopolitics of migration and food in areas currently undergoing large migration flows, like the Mediterranean area. The main aim of this session was to better understand the link between climate change, food security and migration. The extent to which climate change has become, and will become in the future, a driver of migrations and displacement was explored with experts, involving the audience in an interactive discussion. Climate-resilient pathways, adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development strategies were also explored.

CLIMATE, CHANGE, FOOD SECURITY AND MIGRATIONS ‒ WHICH PERSPECTIVES?
THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS

THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS

Since the creation of the Common agricultural policy (CAP) in 1962, it has shaped food and farming as well as rural areas all over Europe. Today, actors engaged in sustainable food and farming tend to agree that a shift is needed in EU policies. Can a more integrated approach, a food policy approach, lead to healthy farms, farmers, food, eaters and landscapes and less externalities? This session discussed the impact of the current CAP and discussed proposals for the future. What environmental instruments does the current CAP already provide? What scope of development is there for the future? What does it mean concretely to shift towards a food policy? What scope of bringing positive local experiences to a European scale? How to build on commitment of new and young farmers and how to answer challenges they face? What are the power dynamics behind the CAP and what global impact does it have? These and other questions were worked on with input from the speakers as well as in small group conversations hosted by the speakers and the general public.

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