On October 30th, Mr. Paolo Di Stefano, facilitator of the WFO Value Chain Working Group, attended the conference “SDGs and Initiatives for Sustainable Global Value Chains”, in Brussels, Belgium.
Co-organized by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER), the event was aimed at raising awareness on all those initiatives, actions, policies, and laws that, across the EU, encourage and ensure responsible business conduct to boost the achievement of the SDGs.
As representative of WFO, Mr. Di Stefano brought to the table farmers’ perspective on the relationship between agriculture, global value chains and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During his speech, Mr. Di Stefano highlighted the importance of promoting fair practices along the value chain to bring concrete solutions to the sustainability of food systems relating to SDGs and the security of food supply: giving more freedom of choices to farmers together with more value added can contribute to global food security ensuring sustainable food systems that respect producers' work, consumers and environment.
Mr. Di Stefano reminded the audience that talking about food chain means not forgetting the end-point of the system, in other words consumers. With their behavior, they can affect the way the food chain is built, and the work of farmers as well. For this reason, there is a need to build stronger relationships between food production and consumption, developing different networks of distribution and exchange.
Short supply chains, local exchange systems and markets, together with on-farm direct consumption, as well as origin labelling, are already offering promising alternatives.
Supporting farmers by promoting more transparent food processes is possible with a harmonized approach at the global level.
Implementing effective farming practices to foster environmental, economic and social sustainable development can only be achieved putting farmers at the center of the political action at global level.