27 Sep 2018


Announced Common Plans to Drive Action on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda at First International Forum on Food and Nutrition in New York City

NEW YORK – 27 September 2018 – The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN Foundation), in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), announced a joint collaboration to develop a roadmap for enabling transformation of the food system at the global level and critical progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The two organizations made the announcement at the jointly hosted International Forum on Food and Nutrition, held for the first time in New York City, to foster global dialogue and mobilize action toward more sustainable agri-food systems and eating patterns. The event, organized alongside the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, will highlight the fundamental links between food, nutrition and sustainable development, and will stress the urgency of transforming our food systems now to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.  

The challenges our global food system is facing today are unprecedented, but our goals are not unattainable if we simply find ways to work together across all sectors and disciplines,” noted Anna Ruggerini, Operations Director, BCFN Foundation. “We’ve waited far too long to address these challenges, and now a transformative approach is required. That is why we are joining forces with SDSN to present a concrete roadmap towards the achievement of the food-related SDGs.”

The global food system faces critical challenges and food represents the common thread linking each of the SDGs. Without proper nourishment, children cannot learn, people cannot lead healthy and productive lives, and societies cannot prosper. Research shows far too many people are obese while at the same time three million children under age five die of hunger each year. In addition, natural resources are dramatically overexploited while tons of food are lost or wasted along the value chain. Extreme weather events are putting a strain on food production and security, while the ecological footprint of agriculture continues to grow. 

At the Forum, the BCFN Foundation and SDSN will announce a detailed roadmap that will guide their efforts in the lead-up to two key UN events in 2019: UN Climate Summit and the SDG Summit. The common roadmap will be released as part of an outcome document that outlines the role each actor – from researchers and policy-makers to educators and media – can play in driving change and highlights key policy recommendations and commitments to enable food system transformation. The calls to action include promoting knowledge and action on sustainable diets; developing a sustainable land-use model; promoting research analysis and case collection, and effectively monitoring progress; and promoting a science-based education for the food leaders of tomorrow.

The global community has succeeded in identifying the problems with our food systems, the issue now is to take a transformative action to turn them into tangible solutions. “We hope that the concrete BCFN-SDSN roadmap will serve as a guidepost for food and sustainability stakeholders to close the gap between idea and action, and accelerate the much needed and urgent shift toward sustainable food systems," said Anna Ruggerini, Operations Director, BCFN Foundation.

As part of its efforts to drive food system change to help achieve the SDGs, BCFN Foundation also released preliminary findings from its most recent Food Sustainability Index (FSI), a global study on nutritional challenges, sustainable agriculture and food loss and waste, developed in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The study found that, Italy’s lagging efforts on addressing nutritional challenges are reflected in falling health among the country’s population. Childhood obesity rates are among the highest of any country in the Index. However, the country has placed emphasis on nutrition education in schools, maintaining portion, content and nutrient-based standards for meals served. Italian agro-biotech is an area where cooperation between research, businesses and capital is growing rapidly.   

According to FSI, the United States (U.S.) has few concerted efforts at the national level to promote healthy policies that could reduce nutritional issues like obesity, leading to increased decline of health among U.S. population. In addition, there has been a stark deterioration in environmental biodiversity in the past year, with nearly 57% of local species being at risk of distinction and over 32 million hectares of tree cover loss having occurred in the country since 2001. Moreover, food waste continues to be one of the biggest challenges in the U.S. In an effort to address this issue, legislation on food recovery is being developed at the federal and state levels, and the federal government has adopted the U.S. 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal, which aims to halve food loss and waste across the domestic food chain by the year 2030.  

At the Forum, the BCFN Foundation also emphasized how each individual has a role to play in shaping the future of the global food system and can minimize environmental impact by adopting sustainable diets, inspired by the Foundation’s Double Food and Environmental Pyramid

I greatly admire the leadership of BCFN Foundation in taking on the global challenge of fostering a nutritious, quality, and sustainable food supply for all. This challenge requires holistic thinking — about culture, economy, climate, biodiversity, and health — and BCFN Foundation spurs the needed understanding,” noted Jeffrey Sachs, Director, SDSN, and Special Advisor to UN Secretary General. “Our aim is for BCFN Foundation and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network to work together to present creative, cutting-edge solutions for policy makers, and a deeper understanding of the challenges and solutions for society as a whole.

To watch the archived event webcast, visit this link.

About the Barilla Center for Food & 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    

About SDSN: The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. SDSN aims to accelerate joint learning and promote integrated approaches that address the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society.



Valentina Gasbarri, Communication and External Relations Manager, valentina.gasbarri@barillacfn.com, +39-338-7882-700 

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