WFO Secretary General delivers the opening keynote speech at the SAI Platform Annual Event 2021

On June 9, 2021, the Secretary General of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), Arianna Giuliodori, addressed the SAI Platform Annual Event 2021 (9-11 June 2021), delivering the opening keynote speech in front of over 200 participants from across the sustainable food and drink industry who convened digitally to examine the benefits and challenges of shared values in agricultural food systems and discuss how to work towards a systemic change for a sustainable thriving future, under the overall theme “Recognising the value of agriculture for a thriving future”.

Here are some key messages from the WFO Secretary General:

  • When the COVID-19 pandemic hit our world, disruptions in the food systems immediately reminded us, both in the global south and the global north, that access to food is not an automatism. The response of our farmers and their organisations was as immediate, proving that they are at the heart of our food systems.
  • Farmers anchor food systems, feeding the world, protecting nature, creating jobs and economic development in rural areas, preserving traditions and promoting innovations, and much more. 
  • The Food Systems Summit presents a unique opportunity to chart the course towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through an inclusive, collaborative, and transparent process for all food systems actors, with people at the centre.
  • In this process, recognising the value of farmers means shifting from a supply to a value chain approach, where all food systems actors recognise each other as partners and collaborate as economic actors in a system.
  • When we all, from farmers to consumers, really dare to collaborate, there is nothing that can stop us from building a sustainable set of options for a future that is a win for the farmers, a win for all the other actors of the food value chain and a win for the consumers.
  • There cannot be healthy people living on a healthy planet without a lively agricultural sector.