Madrid Regional Conference advances commitments in Forum Call to Action
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023 – Today, the Forum met in Madrid at our Regional Conference to start to advance on the commitments contained in the Call to Action, which we launched in March, and that we believe can contribute to a more resilient, sustainable, climate smart and nature positive food and agriculture system.
In doing so, we also took the opportunity with our Partners to restate our common beliefs and values in working together in pursuit of these objectives.
The case for change could not be stronger.
For this reason, we continue to support the leadership which the European Union has taken both in sounding the alarm and taking substantive steps through the Green Deal to mitigate the risks caused by a changing climate.
This is as important to food and agriculture as it is for every other sector of the European economy because we must transition to a more sustainable way of producing the food we need. This must include restoring the critical role of nature and healthy ecosystems in supporting sustainable agriculture. By making the transition, new opportunities to create value in the agri-food system will be unlocked.
Europe does not have a food security problem, especially when compared to other parts of the world, but there are a number of very serious risks, with access to healthy and affordable food, biodiversity loss and extreme weather events caused by a changing climate, foremost amongst them.
It is for these reasons that the Forum supports the sustainability objectives of initiatives like the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, and the Nature Restoration and proposed Soil Health Laws. It is important that we make progress on realising these objectives as soon as possible.
There will always be differences of opinion on how the objectives should be realised and implemented. Although it should not be used to stymie progress, it is essential that dialogue takes place to ensure that any strategy, policy, or law are as robust as possible, informed by science and lead to the desired and necessary outcomes.
True sustainability can only be achieved by meeting human needs, food among them being a critical one, in the most energy and material efficient way and by respecting the value of the ecosystem services.
To succeed, farmers, who are at the centre of the transition, must therefore have access to the best advice and information, innovation in both practices and technologies, and are supported financially for their sustainability efforts and fairly rewarded by markets.
As we work together with our Partners and other stakeholders to implement the seven commitments set out in the Call to Action, the Forum will also expand the space for dialogue and constructive challenge to develop the ideas and solutions which contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Green Deal and a more resilient, sustainable, climate smart and nature positive food and agriculture system.
Call to Action Commitments
The Forum and our Partners, are committed to work individually and collectively, sharing learning, knowledge and best practices, with a long-term perspective, towards:
- Developing and scaling regenerative agriculture, in conjunction with similar approaches, underpinned by common metrics driving enhanced outcomes for productive and environmentally sustainable farming.
- Valuing and accounting for the use of natural capital, such as water, soil, air, and biodiversity, by the agri-food system.
- Contributing to the development and alignment of public funding market-based incentives for nature restoration and delivery of other eco-system services.
- Sharing knowledge and pursue innovation in technology and practices that support both food and environmental security and move away from those which don’t.
- Integrating sustainability into supply chains and the global agri-food trade system, leaving no one behind.
- Informing the development of more coherent agri-food policies at local, national, regional and global level and continue to build public and private partnerships for greater impact.
- Enhancing consumer awareness of their role in building a more resilient and sustainable food and agriculture system.