On November 5, WFO President Theo de Jager joined the COP 26 event “Bridging the Science-Policy Gap for Impactful, Demand-Driven Food Systems Innovation“, co-organised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the American University of Beirut (AUB-IFI) and Columbia University. This event sought to raise the bar for more collaborative, action-oriented research and innovation for food systems, driving transformations for people, nature and climate, in line with the Presidency’s campaigns.

Science and policies must make sense to farmers. From policymakers, we farmers expect a longer planning horizon. We understand that policymakers usually plan for the next election, but farming is multi-generational. We need policies that create an environment in which farming can be sustainable and profitable fifty years from now. As farmers, we often say, “Don’t invite us to dinner. Call us to the kitchen.” We want to be there, where we can plan the meal,” WFO President stated during his speech.

The event was also the occasion to announce the launch of the Food and Climate Systems Transformation Alliance (FACT Alliance), connecting researchers, the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), farming communities, and governments in the hopes of driving innovation and informing better decision making for resilient and sustainable food systems.

If a fairy would land on my shoulder and give me one wish for this Alliance, it would be that this platform will stimulate more discussion, will bring more farmers into laboratories, and more scientists on farms, and more politicians and policymakers to see what real life is like between scientists and farmers if we cannot manage to do that we’re not going to transform our food systems,” De Jager said welcoming the FACT Alliance initiative of which WFO is a partner.

Watch the event recording HERE