Tag Archives: UN Food Systems Summit


By: CropLife International

As the global federation representing the plant science industry, our purpose at CropLife International is to advance innovation in agriculture for a sustainable future and to play a leading role in enabling sustainable food systems.

We are guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our global ambitions for zero hunger, carbon neutrality, and nature positive agriculture and continue to be an industry that is grounded in science. We are committed to keeping abreast of, and contributing to, the latest science- and evidence-based information that supports our global ambitions. Below are 10 reports and studies published in 2021 that offer valuable insights and updates on our industry’s progress against these ambitions.



The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Improving Global Food Security

Global Food Security

Decades after the Green Revolution helped improve food security across the world, climate change, a lack of access to technology, and trade issues are causing food insecurity to rise again. In response, NGOs, academia, governments, foundations, and the private sector are urging renewed collaboration and partnerships to recover and return to accelerate food production and improve food distribution. An October article in the journal Global Food Security, The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Improving Global Food Security, discusses the rationale for public-private partnerships and explores the range of these collaborations and their impacts on global food systems. The authors recommend the use of both strategic and tactical partnerships should be accelerated to improve global food security.

Click here for the report


State of Food and Agriculture 2021: Tracking Progress on Food and Agriculture-Related SDG Indicators 2021

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

According to a November FAO report, COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of food systems and led to increased global food insecurity and malnutrition. The report, State of Food and Agriculture 2021, examines the challenges of building more resilient food systems and provides recommendations on ways to transform food systems to be more responsive to shocks and stresses. FAO also released its 2021 Statistical Yearbook in November, outlining the economic dimensions of agriculture, the production, trade and prices of commodities, food security and nutrition, and sustainability and environmental aspects of agriculture.

A related FAO report, Tracking Progress on Food and Agriculture-Related SDG Indicators, assesses the progress being made on eight of the key food and agriculture-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranging from Zero Hunger to Responsible Consumption and Production. The report also includes a section on how the private sector can better monitor and report progress toward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Cancer incidence in agricultural workers: Findings from an international consortium of agricultural cohort studies (AGRICOH)

Environment International

Cancer Incidence in Agricultural Workers: Findings from an International Consortium of Agricultural Cohort Studies (AGRICOH), published on 27 August in Environment International, evaluated cancer incidence in male and female agricultural workers relative to their respective general populations. The researchers analyzed cancer incidence in almost 250,000 agricultural workers across six countries and determined that the overall cancer rate occurred less in agricultural workers than in the general population.

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Letter to the editor regarding the article “The global distribution of acute unintentional pesticide poisoning: estimations based on a systematic review”

BMC Public Health

CropLife International, with feedback from its Regulatory and Stewardship Steering Committees, responded to an article on claims of pesticide poisoning originally published in BMC Public Health on 7 December 2020. In our letter to the editor, published 27 October, we agreed on the need to understand the extent of possible pesticide poisonings, but questioned the methodology and findings from the original article. The letter concluded by noting that a constructive and informed discussion on the role of crop protection and the use of pesticides in sustainable food production is important and pesticide safety should be addressed in partnership with governments, farmers, NGOs, and other stakeholders.

Click here to read the letter



Correlating Genetically Modified Crops, Glyphosate Use and Increased Carbon Sequestration


As the world gathered in Glasgow for COP26 in November to discuss climate change and commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a  newly published study in the journal Sustainability highlighted the role that plant science innovations such as biotech crops and crop protection can play in promoting climate-smart agriculture. The original research study, Correlating Genetically Modified Crops, Glyphosate Use and Increased Carbon Sequestration, concludes that herbicide-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops and glyphosate can increase soil carbon sequestration, thereby keeping carbon dioxide in the ground rather than releasing it into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming.

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Adaption Gap Report 2021: The Gathering Storm

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

While the world looks to mitigate climate change by stepping up efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the existing impacts of climate change is just as relevant. The sixth edition of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Report: The Gathering Storm looks at how the world is progressing in adapting to these intensifying impacts. The report finds there is an urgent need to step up climate adaptation finance, with the estimated adaptation costs in developing countries five to ten times greater than current public adaptation finance flows and the finance gap widening, in part due to COVID-19 impacts.

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Impact Assessment Study on EU 2030

Wageningen University & Research

An October study from Wageningen University & Research predicts that the effects of the European Commission Green Deal, including the proposed Farm2Fork (F2F) strategy, will result in a loss in productivity through lower agricultural yields, leading to price hikes and an increase in agricultural imports to Europe. The study, commissioned by CropLife Europe and CropLife International, looked at potential impacts from four different scenarios and case studies involving reduction targets of various inputs and available resources. The executive summary is available now, with a full report expected in 2022.

Click here to read the executive summary


The Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) 2020 Annual Report

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The 2020 Annual Report – Plant Production and Protection, spearheaded by Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director-General of FAO provides in-depth information and key facts and figures from the newly re-named FAO Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP). This is the first Divisional Annual Report of its kind and is expected to be published annually. NSP works with countries and a broad range of partners in developing and promoting approaches to sustainable crop production that build on existing ecosystems while enhancing and protecting biodiversity and natural resources.

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A Special Issue on of the Journal of Regulatory Science on Genetically Modified Organisms

Journal of Regulatory Science

Regulatory modernization could create a more predictable, effective, safe, transparent, and timely path to market for agriculture innovations. These innovations are critical to contributing to the achievement of sustainable food systems as they provide solutions for farmers to address a changing climate while meeting growing food demand within the limitations of our planet. A special issue of the open-access Journal of Regulatory Science on Genetically Modified Organisms, published in January in conjunction with CropLife International, provides peer-reviewed recommendations to modernize the regulation of genetically modified crops.

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UN Food Systems Summit Synthesis Reports

UN Food Systems Summit

The United Nations Food Systems Summit, held virtually in September, held a series of Food Systems Summit Dialogues in the year-long lead-up to the event. The Dialogues were meant to provide a powerful opportunity to engage meaningfully, explore collectively, and emerge resiliently for sustainable food systems. To date, more than 1,600 Food Systems Summit Dialogues have been announced with more than 100,000 participants, 148 National Convenors, and 109 National Pathways. Synthesis reports, with conclusions, recommendations, and implications for transforming food systems, have been published that include a majority of the IndependentMember State, and Global Summit Dialogues. CropLife International held an Independent Dialogue in May, Unleashing Innovation to Transform Local Food Systems, and published a feedback report and a takeaways blog.

In conjunction with the UN Food Systems Summit, a Scientific Group was formed to deliver the latest evidence-based and scientific approaches to food systems transformation. The resulting report, Science and Innovations for Food Systems Transformations and Summit Actions, provides summarized recommendations on action for hunger and healthy diets; equity and assistance; sustainable resource management; food production systems; and finance, investment, and trade.


By: CropLife International

Farmers were a coredemographicrepresented at the UN Food Systems Summit Pre-Summit, and for good reason. Farmers produce our food and cultivate the world’s farmlands — it would be impossible to positively transform global food systems without engagingfarmersandranchers.

Kylie Epperson and her husband Jordan are young farmers in northeast Missouri in the United States. Their diversified family farm is the center of their lives, and every day they strive to produce food and animal feed while preserving the beauty and fertility of their farmland.

CropLife International asked Kylie some key questions about what it’s like to be a young farmer, what kind of everyday challenges she faces and how she champions sustainability on the farm.

As a young person, what made you want to become a farmer? 

Kylie Epperson: I married into the farm, but there is something to be said for choosing to marry a farmer AND wanting to return to work on the farm alongside my husband. Agriculture is a way of life like no other. Farmers are true entrepreneurs, mechanics, engineers, marketing experts and so much more. We grow food, especially here in the United States, to feed millions of people around the world. I love being able to run my own business and raise our family in a rural, farm setting.

“Farmers are true entrepreneurs, mechanics, engineers, marketing experts, and so much more.”

What are the main crops you grow on your farm and why?

KE: We grow yellow corn and soybeans on our farm in Missouri. We also raise hogs. Most of the crops we grow go into feed for hogs and cattle. Raising hogs helps us to diversify our farming operation and better manage risk in both commodities.

What does a normal day look like on your farm? What is your routine?

KE: As a 50/50 partner with my husband on our farm, my main role is working in our farm office. A typical day for me is waking, rounding the kids up and driving about 10 minutes to our home farm. After arriving at the office, I look over any urgent matters on my desk, sort and pay bills, review finances and any other accounting matters at hand. I also manage grain inventory and sales. Between bills, grain inventory and tending to three children at work, that makes up most of my day.

What are the major challenges you face on your farm?

KE: One of the major challenges we have on our farm, and really as an industrywide problem, is labor. It is incredibly hard to find a qualified individual who loves the land and animals just as much as you do and takes care of them to the level that you see fit. More and more people are leaving rural America, and that is a threat today and will continue to be a challenge in the future.

“There is not one person who cares more about the quality of our soil, water and air than a farmer.”

How do climate change and biodiversity issues affect your farm?

KE: As a row crop and hog farmer, we take all measures available to us to ensure we are doing right by our environment, by our land and by our community. There is not one person who cares more about the quality of our soil, water and air than a farmer, and we put practices in place to ensure we are doing our part to take care of the environment.

What would you say to young people who want to know about farming and plant science?

KE: Agriculture is one of the most rewarding environments to make yourself a part of. The community, the ability to work with your hands and with the land every day, the opportunity to raise a family on a farm, teaching your kids life lessons from a young age, gosh, so many amazing things about farming.

However, farming isn’t for the faint of heart. Farmers rely heavily on matters outside of our control, like commodity prices, land availability, weather and more, and often those uncontrollable matters throw curveball after curveball. Farmers are resilient, though, and you quickly learn the love for the land and the faith for the future is much greater in agriculture than the fear of the unknown. Agriculture is a community and profession that once you start, you’ll never want to leave.

Kylie takes a special interest in telling her story through her InstagramFacebook and blog, where she charts the ups and downs of modern farming from the perspective of a young family. This is in part due to increased interest in farming from consumers who have increasing concerns about sustainability and the supply chain, or are just taking a greater interest in where their food comes from.

Kylie is just one of many young farmers and advocates throughout the world working to make our planet a greener and more sustainable one. Check out what other youth champions have to say about how we can better transform our food systems.


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.