WFO President speaks at GFFA 2021 on how to provide the world with healthy and nutritious food despite pandemics and climate change.

On January 18, the President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), Theo de Jager, joined as a speaker the kick-off event of the 13th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA 2021).

The event, held in a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also featured the participation of Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit; Monique Eloit, Director-General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE); Pavan Sukhdev, President of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF International); Sunny Verghese, Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and CEO of the Olam International.

The discussion explored how agriculture can provide the world long-term with food for a balanced diet despite pandemics and climate change.

Here are some key messages from the WFO President:

  • COVID-19 has shown us how fragile our current food systems are. There is now broad agreement that the food systems need to be reformed, shifting towards an integrated, fair and shared engagement of all actors at all levels of the food value chain.
  • Therefore, agricultural policies and support need to get better. That is why we call on governments to review and repurpose their agricultural policies and support to advance towards a productive, efficient, and sustainable agriculture.
  • In this process, farmers need to be at the table in shaping resilient food systems for the future.
  • Yet, while the world is struggling to flatten the curve on COVID-19, climate change effects have not disappeared. In WFO, we dream a world where everyone is working together to put carbon emissions back into the soil, proving to the world that agriculture is the solution to our challenges and that investing in agriculture is key to having a healthy planet for healthy people.

We cannot live without food. Our health is so important. You need to make it your task to take part in the transformation of our food systems. We need to start to the poorest and weakest. If we can cover them, then the rest of the world is covered too”. With these words, Theo de Jager, closing his speech, addressed the audience at the kick-off event of the 13th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA 2021).