Tag Archives: sustainable food systems


By: CropLife International

A perspective from Robert Hunter, Chief Operating Officer, CropLife International

The spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and partnership is a core value for CropLife International and our industry. Throughout the year, we continued to challenge ourselves to advance innovation in agriculture for a sustainable future and find new opportunities to work with stakeholders in a more integrated way. This is not only with our members and our global CropLife network, but also by forging new partnerships to foster innovative solutions to the pressing challenges of food security, biodiversity, and climate change.

Over the years, our commitment to collaboration has provided us with great opportunities to work with stakeholders such as FAO, USAID, GlobalG.A.P., the Rainforest Alliance, the World Bank, and GIZ. CropLife International and our global network are well-known for building more than 300 partnerships with international organizations and local NGOs to build capacity and train farmers on integrated pest management (IPM) and responsible use of plant science technologies.

This year presented new opportunities for us to establish partnerships and gain momentum in bringing our vision for sustainable food systems to the forefront of the discussion. Key activities are summarized below.

  • To kick off 2021, CropLife International served on the advisory committee of a new Global Agriculture Innovation Forum, a joint undertaking between the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) and Purdue University’s Office of International Programs in Agriculture. The Forum consisted of a series of virtual events held throughout the year that brought together innovators and stakeholders within the public and private sectors to discuss innovations that enable sustainable agriculture globally, ranging from reducing postharvest losses to making improved animal genotypes available to smallholder farmers.
  • With support from CropLife International, the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) and Africa Harvest developed a coalition of African academic scientists who are interested in promoting the benefits of genome editing as an essential element of plant breeding in Africa. The nascent and loose coalition is in the early stages of formalizing its mandate under NASAC, and should be able to expand the number of scientific advocates based in Africa beyond those who have been active in the genetically modified crops discussion.
  • Planning for the UN Food Systems Summit (FSS) in September and Pre-Summit in July heightened the global conversation around systems-based approaches to sustainable food systems. By engaging with a diverse group of stakeholders, ranging from academia and civil society to finance and government, we elevated the imperative of continuing or accelerating agricultural innovation. It was also an opportunity to highlight the important role our technologies play in delivering sustainable food systems. We also helped galvanize our industry and global network to mobilize in the Food Systems Summit Action Track working groups and engage with member state delegations in the lead-up to and during the Summit events.
  • As a result of conversations and coalitions emerging from the Summit, we recognized that soil health – and its importance in achieving the SDGs – was an opportunity to catalyze real action and demonstrate the value our industry can play in improving soil health and mitigating and adapting to climate change; therefore, we’re proud to support the Private Sector Call to Action for Soil Health, which includes agricultural input companies, food companies, financial institutions, and other organizations. The Private Sector Call to Action for Soil Health evolved to support the goals and objectives outlined by the Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health (CA4SH), a multi-stakeholder coalition built to facilitate the implementation, adoption, and global coordination of soil restoration practices, and to recognize the need for private sector participation and engagement of farmers, acknowledge tangible outcome-related goals and solutions, highlight the work that is being accomplished through existing initiatives and alliances, and emphasize the need for science-based approaches and measurements.
  • Launched at the UN Food Systems Summit in September, we joined with like-minded countries and organizations in supporting the formation of the Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation, recognizing that a Coalition of Action focused on sustainable productivity growth could help break silos and deliver on agricultural productivity growth’s potential to accelerate progress in meeting the world’s growing nutrition needs without bankrupting farmers, consumers, and nature. The Coalition includes a wide range of partners, ranging from governments and NGOs to industry and academia.
  • Originally announced at the UN Food Systems Summit, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) coalition was officially launched alongside 31 countries and 48 non-government partners at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). The initiative aims to accelerate investment in sustainable agriculture and food systems innovation and has already raised more than $4 billion in innovation investments.As an Innovation Sprint Partner, CropLife International will work with AIM4C to make agriculture more climate-friendly through our Sustainable Pesticide Management Framework (SPMF). This $13-million plan will improve access to and uptake of climate-smart crop protection innovations to smallholder farmers in nine different markets in Asia, Africa, and Central America over the next six years by:
    • Increasing access to newer crop protection chemistries (including biological pesticides).
    • Training extension officers and farmers on the effective and safe use of crop protection products and the importance of integrated pest management solutions.
    • Supporting policy and regulatory reform that enables access to these innovations.
      Implementation of the framework is already underway in Kenya, and additional projects will be launched in Thailand, Morocco, and Vietnam in 2022.
  • Also at COP26, we collaborated with groups as diverse as the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Farmers’ OrganizationUSAID, and World Business Council for Sustainable Development to continue to elevate the importance of agricultural innovation in delivering nature-positive, carbon-neutral food systems.

We will carry this momentum forward into 2022 as we continue to develop and drive a thought leadership program by engaging in open dialogue with various stakeholders around innovative, sustainable food systems. We recognize our work is not without its challenges, but we are committed to listening and working in partnership with all key stakeholders to achieve our shared ambitions.


By: CropLife International

Addressing the many threats to food security was a key priority at the United Nations Food Systems Pre-Summit earlier this year. West Asia regional director for Youth4Nature Rayan Kassem offered closing remarks sharing his vision on how food systems could be meaningfully transformed. In celebration of International Youth Day and as part of our responsibility to include and uplift youth perspectives, we reached out to Kassem to learn more about his perspective on how key stakeholders can collaborate to help deliver more sustainable food systems for the world.

Kassem outlined 11 key action points that he believes will be vital for creating equitable and sustainable food systems.

  1. We must consider the indirect causes of food system challenges, not just direct impacts like hunger, poverty and climate change. Looking at factors like war, smuggling, food prices, violence and food import dependence is key.
  2. We need to create an accountability scheme for decision-makers. Our generation is making history as the first generation to actively care about the future of the planet. We must continue to call for accountability every time a shock, stress or challenge happens within food systems.
  3. We should address trade dependencies and politics within food systems. Some countries might have disputes and create artificial trade barriers. We need to protect food systems from such trade disruptions.
  4. We need to move beyond our unsustainable view that we can produce as much as we want, whenever and wherever we want. We need to create a new system where resources are looked at in a finite way.
  5. We need to look at subsidies. We should stop subsidizing agricultural products that are harmful for our health and for the health of the climate and biodiversity. Instead, we should shift those subsidies to local farmers and agricultural products that are good for our health and our planet. We should subsidize fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole plant-based food products as well animal protein that is produced sustainably be it fish or land-based animals
  6. We need to take care of farmers’ livelihoods. Farmers are the basis of our society as the producers of our food. Yet, they aren’t often able to have equitable livelihoods.
  7. We need to switch from monocultural tree planting to nature-positive, sustainable food production so that agriculture doesn’t hurt the health of our environment or impact the climate.
  8. We need to prioritize food justice and sovereignty, including regional culture and the heritage of food production and consumption. How people eat and how they produce food is very specific to their cultures and hundreds of years of interaction with nature. The development of food production and consumption patterns are often local, so food systems should not be approached from a global perspective with a standard diet and way of producing food.
  9. We must use resources sustainably. That means growing crops best suited to each region based on their natural resources.
  10. Developing countries must have access to agricultural technologies. The use of these technologies helps farmers produce food more efficiently. There is still a very large gap between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere in access to technologies.
  11. Lastly, we need a circular economy. Technology has advanced enough to create products from food waste, and we need to incorporate these products into local, regional and global food production.

Kassem believes that if we address these 11 strategies, we will be able to improve global food systems and end world hunger. He added that we already have the policy systems in place, through both the United Nations and member states, to address these points — we just need action. Youth advocates are key to encouraging decision-makers to create lasting, long-term policies that leads to more equitable, sustainable and accessible food systems.

28 July 2021, Rome, Italy – Rayan Kassem, West Asia Regional Directorfor Youth4nature. Closing Plenary of the Pre-Summit Systems, Pre-Summit of the United Nations Food System Summit 2021. FAO headquarters (Plenary hall)
©UN Photo/ Giulio Napolitano

As the global federation representing the plant science industry, CropLife International is committed to advancing innovation in agriculture for a sustainable future, and to playing a lead role in enabling sustainable food systems. We are proud to feature the voices of stakeholders like Rayan Kassem that are shaping global negotiations at the UN Food Systems Summit.

To hear food systems perspectives directly from youth leaders, check out our most recent map: How Youth Envision Global Food Systems in 50 Years.