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Statement on behalf of Private Sector at ICN2
By Ann Steensland, Senior Policy Associate for Nutrition and Agriculture
We gather to address the greatest challenge of the twenty-first century: sustainably producing sufficient nutritious and affordable food to feed a growing global population.
More than 90 businesses and private sector entities are participating in ICN2. While we represent a broad cross section interests, we are united in our beliefs
- that the private sector has unique and useful resources that are needed to tackle nutrition issues,
- that business has both an incentive and a responsibility to be part of this global effort to reduce malnutrition, and
- that collaboration between government, the private sector and civil society is essential to affecting real and lasting change for hungry and malnourished people.
The Political Outcome Document and Framework for Action approved here today outline a global vision for creating a more nutritious food system. As governments seek to implement policies outlined in these documents, the private sector encourages them to recognize that food systems are constantly evolving, often in ways that challenge our preconceived notions about how and where people procure the food that they eat. For example, in high-income countries, the market for locally grown food continues to expand and draw in more small-scale and specialty producers. In developing countries, where incomes are on the rise, there is a growing demand for higher-value foods that are imported from around the globe.
Every type of food system offers opportunities to improve nutrition. The private sector believes that in order for food systems to become more nutritious they must do more than “supply” nutritious food to consumers; they must be economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. A nutritious food system needs to create “value” for the actors along the entire food supply chain: from the scientists and entrepreneurs who are creating technologies that improve the productivity of farmers growing nutrient-rich foods; to the processors and aggregators who preserve and improve the nutritional content of foods; to the retailers and marketers who sell the food; as well as to the consumers themselves.
In order to create this “value”, the private sector encourages governments to develop a policy environment for food and nutrition that helps conserve natural resources, adapts to changing consumer preferences, and improves the lives and livelihoods of everyone involved in the food value chain. The private sector stands ready to partner with governments and civil society to continue to make local and global food systems more nutritious and sustainable, and to do so in a way that benefits not only consumers, but all those involved in providing the food that will feed our growing global population.