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Food and sustainability

Dialogue between institutions and private organisations

The second edition of the World Food Research and Innovation Forum was held in Parma with the aim of putting those involved in sustainable development in touch with stakeholders in the agro-food supply chain.

The World Food Research and Innovation Forum (WFRIF) officially took place on 9 and 10 May in Parma, at Cibus 2016, for the 18th international food show. It is a permanent platform created in 2014 with the aim of promoting an innovative model to examine research, agro-food sustainability and challenges for the future of the food system on the world stage. The goal of this biannual event is to create constructive dialogue between the various national and international organisations and authorities responsible for food security and the management of strategies needed to promote and develop a sustainable food system.
Once again, this edition of the World Food Research and Innovation Forum was attended by academics, researchers, business leaders, politicians, government officials, public authorities, and representatives of national and international organisations. The in-depth and intellectually-stimulating event showcased the latest scientific and technological trends, new political approaches and the most recent examples of efficiency and excellence in the sector, providing attendees with the opportunity to meet stakeholders in the development and implementation of a healthy, safe and sustainable food system.

More investment needed
The agricultural sector in developing countries has suffered from serious underinvestment”, explained Roberto Ridolfi, Director of the Department for sustainable development and growth at the European Commission. “The investment needed to eliminate hunger by 2030 was estimated by the FAO at $267 billion a year, including $105 billion for rural and agricultural development. The private sector has a key role to play in this process because public investment on its own is not enough”.
This second edition of the World Food Research and Innovation Forum follows the one held during the Expo in Milan and aims to consolidate the international technological platform on food security launched a year ago, as pointed out by Fabio Fava, member of the WFRIF and Italian representative on the Horizon 2020 Bioeconomy Committee, which makes decisions regarding scientific research on a European level. “We have made a medium-term strategic choice, launching and building a strong relationship with the agro-food industry and the food production sector to create synergy between our platform and other initiatives, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.

BCFN’s role
Representing the BCFN Foundation was the speaker Riccardo Valentini, member of the BCFN Advisory Board, Professor of Forestry Ecology at the University of Tuscia and a collaborator with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007. Indeed, BCFN believes it is fundamental to contribute to this dialogue by providing scientific studies which are the result of years of research and have been summarised in the latest volume of Eating Planet. For this reason, BCFN holds its own International Forum every year. It is a crucial opportunity to bring different disciplines together to analyse and debate the global issues linked to food and nutrition and to invite people to reflect on urgent problems such as access to food, overexploitation of resources, obesity and food waste.

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