6 Jun 2018


BRUSSELS – 6 June 2018 – “The European Union needs a revolution in thinking to support sustainable agriculture and nutrition and migration”, Paolo Barilla, Vice Chairman of the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation told a high-level International Forum in Brussels on Wednesday.  


Current EU farm spending emphasizes production of commodity products and the preservation of the environment. Instead, policies should focus on promoting healthy, nutritious and affordable foods, Mr. Barilla and international experts and activists told the Barilla Foundation’s International Forum on Food and Nutrition

We continue to live in a world where a third of food is wasted while nearly one billion people are hungry and in which poverty, hunger and climate change force more and more people from their homes,” said Mr. Barilla. “If we want to be serious about tackling these issues we need a different, multidisciplinary approach to agriculture, food, nutrition, rural development and migration policies.” 

For the inaugural Brussels Forum, BCFN Foundation worked with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).  

An important driver of migration is malnutrition and the decline of traditional agriculture,” says Daniel Gros, Director of CEPS. "High subsidies to Western farmers risk driving competing food producers in developing countries out of business.” 

Scheduled speakers included experts from the United Nations, think-tanks, civil society, entrepreneurs and activists including rock star Bob Geldof, in addition to representatives of the European Parliament and European Commission. More than 600 participants were registered.  

Food is central to all the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in 2015. These include eliminating hunger, sustainable consumption and production, climate change mitigation and improving human health and well-being, among others.  

The BCFN Forum called on 2030 Agenda signatories to establish an Intergovernmental Panel on Food & Nutrition. It would be modeled after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the high-level group that successfully achieved an international consensus on the measures needed to tackle climate change.  

Even before reaching an international consensus, the EU should act. Upcoming negotiations over the EU’s budget for the period (2021-2027) offer an urgent opportunity for the Union to address these shortcomings before failures in the current system get “baked in” for another five years, according to Mr. Barilla.  


The first major reform of the Common Agricultural Policy since 2013, in particular, represents an invitation to the EU to move towards a Common Agri-Food Policy emphasizing nutritional goals in addition to production and sustainability goals. “The EU is in a forward-thinking phase right now,” he said, “The question is whether the EU will be serious about sustainable development.” 


About the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation:  The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN Foundation) is a multi-disciplinary research center, which analyses the causes of economic, scientific, social and environmental factors and the effects they have on the food system. It produces scientific content, which can be used to inform and help people to make responsible choices regarding food, nutrition, health and sustainability. The Advisory Board oversees the work of the BCFN Foundation. For more information: www.barillacfn.com.   




Brandon Mitchener, brandon.mitchener@gmail.com, +32-477-245-077 

Bill Echikson, bechikson@gmail.com, +32-475-669-736


Valentina Gasbarri, Communication and External Relations Manager, valentina.gasbarri@barillacfn.com, +39-338-788-2700 


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