On 7 March, the WFO Board member Kati Partanen from MTK joined a food security seminar in Helsinki, Finland.

The event “Where is the global food system heading? Civil society possibilities to affect the sustainability of food systems” brought together high-level decision-makers from the EU Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships (EU-INTPA) and the UN Food Systems Hub to discuss with Finnish civil society how a just transition of the food system can be achieved and how we all can contribute to it.
The event was organised by the food security working group of Fingo (The Finnish Development Organisations)

Speakers included Dr Stefanos Foutiou, Head of the UN Food Systems Hub in FAO, Dr Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit in the Directorate-General (DG) for International Partnerships (DF INTPA),  Prof Jyrki Niemi from Natural Resources Centre (Luke).

“Strengthening farmers’ organisations is a prerequisite for sustainable food systems. Farmers’ voice is not heard in the majority of the world. Also, the power balance in value chains is crucial”, she stated.

Just transition in the food system is essential. Discussion is often very narrow and doesn’t notice the diversity and multiple effects of agriculture. Quick changes are difficult to realise at the farm level as investments often have long payback-time, and chosen production or technology is often difficult to change in the short run. According to research results, investments in agriculture are too low in developing countries. It’s important to notice the potential of agriculture in developing countries and focus on that – and at the same time, take care of knowledge, skills, and justice. The role of farmers’ organisations is important, not only as farmers’ voice but also in transmitting good practices. Food and food systems are multidimensional. Farmers make decisions based on their own farm situation. All sustainability dimensions are present in family farms: economical, social and environmental”, said Kati Partanen in the panel discussion.

Recording of the event is available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WTYKAEn5-s