This year the United Nations will host the first Food Systems Summit with the goal of uniting multiple sectors and actors around building more equitable and sustainable food systems as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. A pre-summit is planned in Rome on July 26-28 to galvanize and mobilize new commitments, partnerships, and financing for transforming global food systems.
Over two days of virtual events on July 14 and 15, Devex reporters dug into what is on the agenda, talked to experts both inside and outside the planning process, and set the stage for what success looks like for the pre-summit and summit to follow.
• What pre-summit success looks like for various stakeholders including farmers, local consumer groups, and environmental activists.
• How to optimize the pre-summit and summit planning process for practical and inclusive outcomes.
• The role of agribusiness and civil society in these global conversations.
• Nutrition outcomes of the pre-summit in advance of Nutrition for Growth in December.
Note: French and Spanish interpretation and English captioning for this event is available via Zoom
The urgency of food systems reform
• Dr. David Nabarro, 4SD
• Moderator: Teresa Welsh, Devex
Resilience in action
• María Cantore, Municipality of Rosario, Argentina
• Elijah Amoo Addo, Food for All Africa Programme
• Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, 2021 World Food Prize winner
• Nyasha Mudukuti, Zimbabwe Farmer
• Moderator: Rumbi Chakamba, Devex
From farm to table: Setting a fair price for food producers
• Marike de Peña, Banelino
Future of Food Systems series video
Front and center: Smallholder farmers at the heart of food systems transformations
• Gilbert Houngbo, IFAD
• Ruramiso Mashumba , Zimbabwe Farmers Union
• Moderator: Raj Kumar, Devex
In partnership with IFAD
A people's summit?
• Hakim Baliraine, Eastern and Southern Africa small-scale Farmers Forum
• Moderator: Teresa Welsh, Devex
An inside view of Summit Action Tracks
• Michelle Nunn, CARE USA
• Dr. Saleemul Huq, International Centre for Climate Change and Development
• Moderator: Teresa Welsh, Devex
Outcomes and accountability: Measuring success of the Summit process
• Meera Shekar, World Bank
• Chris Hegadorn, UN Committee on World Food Security
• Jess Fanzo, Johns Hopkins University
• Moderator: Teresa Welsh, Devex
Breaking down barriers: Facilitating trade in Indonesia's food sector
• Matt Warner, Atlas Network
• Felippa Amanta, Center for Indonesian Policy Studies
• Moderator: Amruta Byatnal, Devex
In partnership with Atlas Network
The role of agribusiness in sustainable food systems
• Purvi Mehta, Gates Foundation
• Natasha Santos, Bayer Crop Science
• Alvaro Viteri, Popoyan Agribusiness
• Moderator: Teresa Welsh, Devex
The view from development donor countries
• Shawn Baker, USAID
• Moderator: Teresa Welsh, Devex
From farm to table: Eating more sustainably for the planet
• Pierre Thiam, Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and social entrepreneur
Future of Food Systems series video
Looking ahead: Connecting UNFSS to Nutrition for Growth
• Gerda Verburg, SUN Movement
• Moderator: Teresa Welsh, Devex
Chef Elijah Amoo Addo is Chef, Food Stylist, Social Entrepreneur, Tv Host and Recipient of the 2017 Queens Young Leader Award presented by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for his contribution towards social development across the commonwealth. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Food for All Africa Programme, a social enterprise and West Africa's first food bank which recovers surplus food from supermarkets, restaurants and other sources in Ghana and distributes it to facilities for children, the elderly and mentally-challenged persons. Since launching in 2015, the organisation has recovered more than $10,000 worth of food products to feed and support almost 5,000 beneficiaries across five regions in Ghana. It has also established new and extended existing partnerships with supermarkets, farmers and hotels, and has created a number of community food farms. The programme also runs "SDG 2" (Zero Hunger) crop and livestock farms and stores to foster agricultural employment and distribute rural products in urban centers.
Felippa Amanta is the head of research at the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies. Her own research focuses on food security and trade. Previously, Amanta conducted and published policy research with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. When Amanta returned to Indonesia, she then worked at the Women and Youth Development Institute of Indonesia in Surabaya. Amanta received her bachelor in sociology degree from the University of California, Berkeley, followed by a Master of Public Administration from the Australian National University. She was selected as one of Indonesia’s Future Leaders by the British Council in 2017 and completed the policy and leadership training from the University of Cambridge. In her spare time, Amanta mentors young policy leaders at the Think Policy Society.
Shawn K. Baker serves as the Chief Nutritionist for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In this position, he chairs the Agency’s Nutrition Leadership Council, oversees the vision and strategy of the Agency’s Center for Nutrition in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, and coordinates related efforts across USAID. He also guides USAID’s investments and engagement with partners to address malnutrition in developing countries. Prior to joining USAID, Mr. Baker was the first director of nutrition at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has over 30 years’ experience in global public health nutrition, including 25 years living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. His service on committees and advisory groups includes the Technical Review Panel for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, which he chaired until November 2014. He was chair of the Executive Committee of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and now serves as special advisor. He was also on the board of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition from 2013-2016, and now serves on its Partnership Council.
Hakim Baliraine is the Africa representative to the Executive Committee of the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), a global network of different organizations and social movements that seeks to develop and promote People’s Food Sovereignty. He is the chairperson of Eastern and Southern Africa Farmers Forum (ESAFF), a network of grassroots small scale farmers’ organizations working in 16 countries of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. A farmer in Uganda’s Mayuge District, he also chairs the ESAFF chapter in Uganda, the biggest small-scale farmer-led advocacy movement in the country. He is a board member of the Steering Committee of Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I) in Eastern Africa, an initiative endorsed by the heads of states of African Union in 2012 to mainstream organic Agriculture in national policies on the continent of Africa.
María Cantore has a degree in International Relations (UNR) and a master's degree in progress in Climate Change Law and Economics (FLACSO). She was Executive Director of the Fundación Nueva Generación Argentina (FNGA), project manager for Latin America of the Under2 Coalition at The Climate Group and coordinator of the Political Advocacy Node of the Alliance for Argentine Climate Action (AACA). She has worked in public policy with government and civil society representatives and participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference, New York Climate Week and United Nations Climate Action Summit.
Jessica Fanzo, PhD is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at the Johns Hopkins University. At Hopkins, she holds appointments in the Berman Institute of Bioethics, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She also serves as the interim Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs at SAIS. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Global Food Security Journal and leads on the development of the Food Systems Dashboard. From 2016–2021, Fanzo served on the Food Systems Economic Commission, the EAT-Lancet Commission, as Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and Team Leader for the UN High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition. She has also held positions at Columbia University, the FAO, the UN World Food Programme, Bioversity International, and the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya. In 2021, she published her first book, Can Fixing Dinner Fix the Planet?
Chris Hegadorn is a retired U.S. diplomat whose career included 25 years as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State and earlier positions with the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. Based in Rome, Hegadorn assumed the position of CFS secretary in March 2019.
Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development on April 1, 2017. Houngbo was reappointed for a second term in February 2021. This year IFAD aims to increase the incomes of 20 million low-income small-scale food producers, 50% of whom are women, by 20%. Houngbo is also chair of UN-Water, which coordinates the efforts of over 30 U.N. entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues. Houngbo has more than 30 years of experience in the public, multilateral, and private sectors including as deputy director-general of the International Labour Organization; prime minister of the Togolese Republic, and a number of executive-level positions at the United Nations Development Programme, including director of finances, chief of staff, and assistant secretary-general. He spent a decade in the private sector, including at PwC.
Prof. Saleemul Huq is the Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and Professor at the Independent University Bangladesh (IUB). In addition he is the Chair of the Expert Advisory Group for the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and also Senior Adviser on Locally Led Adaptation with Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA). He is an expert in adaptation to climate change in the most Vulnerable developing countries and has been a lead author of the third, fourth and fifth assessment reports of the IPCC and advises the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group in the UNFCCC. He has published hundreds of scientific as well as popular articles and was recognised as one of the top twenty global influencers on climate change policy in 2019 and top scientist from Bangladesh on climate change science.
Ruramiso Mashumba is the national youth chairperson for the Zimbabwe Farmers Union. Mashumba has been recognized for her work in leading women toward mechanized farming in Africa, and is also a member of various agriculture organizations. Mashumba farms in eastern Zimbabwe, growing maize, whole brown rice, sorghum, millet, and gumtrees. She also grows peas for export and breeds cattle. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Agriculture Business Management from the University of West England, Ruramiso has been recognized as the 2020 GFN Kleckner Award recipient and was named one of the top 1,000 entrepreneurs in Africa. Ruramiso is also the founder of Mnandi Africa, an organization that helps rural women combat poverty and malnutrition by empowering and equipping them with skills and knowledge in agriculture, nutrition, markets, and technology; assisting them with access to agro-technology through an input-sharing program; and collectively purchase and sell goods and services. In 2018 Ruramiso won the iconic African award for farming and agriculture. She also won the JCI top 10 young person’s award in 2019 and was named one of Zimbabwe’s 40 under 40 in 2021.
Dr. Purvi Mehta is the Head of Asia for Agriculture Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has her formal education, up to PhD, from M.S. University, India, Tokyo University, Japan and North Carolina State University- USA. Dr. Mehta has worked with the CGIAR, as head of Asia for the International Livestock Research Institute and as head of South Asia Biosafety program (IFPRI, USAID), and brings a blend of Asia and Africa experience. She is on board of several organizations, including, International Centre for Rural Agriculture-Netherlands, Independent Director on Board of National Commodity Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX), Global Advisory Council- World Food Prize etc. She is honorary professor at Amity University-India and visiting Scientist at Cornell University, NY. She has been closely associated with several agriculture and nutrition policy platforms in India, Southeast Asia and Africa and serves on several committees and advisory panels. She was the recipient of Agriculture Today Award-2014, for her contributions to agriculture policies in South Asia. Dr. Mehta has two books and over 50 publications to her credit.
Nyasha Mudukuti, a Mastercard Foundation scholar from Michigan State University, majored in plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology. She is also a BSc honors graduate in biotechnology from Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. She is a science communication and network associate with the Cornell Alliance for Science, where she was a 2019 Global Leadership Fellow. Nyasha served as the 2016 AGCO Africa Ambassador, advocating for agricultural reforms across the African continent. More recently, she was a speaker at the 2019 Oxford Farming Conference. She also participated in the World Food Prize’s Borluag Dialogue in both 2014 and 2018. Additionally, she is a member of the Global Farmers Network and a proud Global Youth Ambassador fellow of the U.N initiative ‘A World At School’ and a 2016 Young African Leaders Initiative fellow as an emerging young leader. Her dream is to help her continent see the importance of biotechnology in agriculture and use it to improve the livelihoods of African smallholder farmers.
David Nabarro is the Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London and supports systems leadership for sustainable development through his Switzerland based social enterprise 4SD. From March 2020, David is appointed Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19. He is also Senior Advisor to the Food Systems Summit Dialogues. David secured his medical qualification in 1974 and has worked in over 50 countries – in communities and hospitals, governments, civil society, universities, and in United Nations (UN) programs. In the 1990s, David worked for the British government as Head of Health and Population and Director for Human Development in the UK Department for International Development. From 1999 to 2017, he held leadership roles in the UN system on disease outbreaks and health issues, food insecurity and nutrition, climate change and sustainable development. In October 2018, David received the World Food Prize together with Lawrence Haddad for their leadership in raising the profile and building coalitions for action for better nutrition across the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since 2015, Michelle Nunn has been president and CEO of CARE USA, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty and provides lifesaving assistance in emergencies. Since assuming leadership of CARE, Nunn has set a goal of increasing CARE’s micro-savings program from 7 million participants to 60 million participants by 2028. Before joining CARE, Nunn had built a career of civic and public service as a social entrepreneur, a nonprofit CEO, and a candidate for the U.S. Senate. She co-founded the volunteer-mobilization organization Hands On Atlanta, and expanded it from a single entity to a national network of more than 50 affiliates. Nunn oversaw that group’s merger with Points of Light, creating the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. Nunn served as Points of Light CEO from 2007 to 2013. Nunn majored in history with a minor in religion from the University of Virginia and earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also received a Kellogg Fellowship to study faith and social justice in more than a dozen countries, from Peru to Namibia to Jordan.
Natasha Santos is an accomplished senior public affairs executive with over 16 years’ experience in the agriculture, food, and life science industries. Her professional experience includes advocacy campaigns, multi-cultural communications, and development of global partnerships. Mrs. Santos has led various association groups and sectoral alliances and positively contributed to policy making and collaboration in areas such as food & nutrition, sustainable agriculture, plant protection, sustainable construction and green building, data protection, trade policy and innovation. At the heart of Mrs. Santos’ work is a passion to place farmers at the heart of food systems transformation. Through the combined scale, resources and commitment of public-private partnerships, she connects with agricultural stakeholders to deliver collaboration opportunities to create sustainable food systems. Natasha Santos holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from UniFMU/Brazil, a post-graduation degree in International Negotiations by UNESP/Brazil and a Masters in Public Policy and Management by Paulista School of Law (EPD)/Brazil. She holds certifications in global governance and international affairs from the University of Lodz/Poland and the Bucerius Law School/Germany.
Meera Shekar is global lead for nutrition at the World Bank’s Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice. In this capacity Shekar provides leadership, support, and policy advice on the bank’s nutrition portfolio across the spectrum of undernutrition and obesity, managing key partnerships such as the Power of Nutrition, and firmly positioning nutrition within the Global Financing Facility for RMNACH and the bank’s new initiative on human capital. Over the past several years, she has led the repositioning of the nutrition agenda that led to the global Scaling Up Nutrition movement, and was a founding member of the Catalytic Financing Facility for Nutrition developed in partnership with the Milken Institute, that evolved into The Power of Nutrition. Meera serves as the chair for the SUN executive committee and has been one of the principals for the emerging aid architecture for SUN, and the G-8 and G-20 agenda-setting process for food security and nutrition over the past decade. She developed the first-ever global Investment Framework for Nutrition and co-leads — with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — the Nutrition Financing working group for the Nutrition for Growth summit to be hosted by Japan in 2020.
Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted is the Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at WorldFish, a One CGIAR entity. She was awarded the 2021 World Food Prize for her ground-breaking research, critical insights, and landmark innovations in developing holistic, nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquatic food systems, including aquaculture and capture fisheries. She played a key role in the development of the WorldFish 2030 research and innovation strategy: Aquatic Foods for Healthy People and Planet. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security and Vice Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021: Action Track 4 - Advance Equitable Livelihoods, and also a Food Systems Champion. She plays a pivotal role in promoting aquatic food systems for nourishing nations and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Shakuntala holds a PhD from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (presently: Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen), Denmark. She also holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
In March 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Gerda Verburg as Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and Assistant Secretary-General. Ms. Verburg brings extensive and broad experience from politics and international cooperation. In 2008, following her appointment the year before as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, she was elected as Chair of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 17). From 2011, she served as Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN United Nations Rome-based agencies: FAO, WFP and IFAD. In 2013, she was elected as Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), and in 2014 she was appointed as Chair of the Agenda Council for Food and Nutrition of the World Economic Forum (WEF). As part of her role, SUN Movement serves as a member of the SUN Movement Lead Group and an ex officio member of the SUN Movement Executive Committee.
With business development experience to validate and implement shared-value business models related to agriculture with an impact investment approach, Alvaro is the New Projects Development Manager at Popoyán. He currently leads the Shared Social Transformation component of the corporation in the different businesses that Popoyan operates in Guatemala, and led Popoyán´s investment for the strategy and development of the Centers for Modern Agriculture for Prosperity and Opportunities (CAMPO) in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Alvaro is also leading Popoyán’s agroindustrial project, located in Petén, Guatemala, in order to access new and high-value markets around the world. Before devoting his work full time to Popoyán in 2016, Alvaro worked for a private wealth management firm in Guatemala as an investment advisor for corporate and individual clients in the region. Alvaro has a business and finance degree from the Francisco Marroquín University and a masters degree in International Business from Hult Business School, which he completed in London, England, and Shanghai, China.
Matt Warner is president of Atlas Network, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting local partners in over 90 countries. Warner is the editor of “Poverty and Freedom: Case Studies on Global Economic Development” and coined the term "the outsider's dilemma" to describe the challenge of helping low-income countries develop without getting in the way of their most viable paths to prosperity. Warner writes, speaks, and consults internationally on topics including economics, institution building, nonprofit management, and impact philanthropy. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Hill, Forbes, Harvard's Education Next, and EconTalk, among others. Warner has a Master of Arts in Economics from George Mason University and is certified by Georgetown University in organizational development consulting. He is also a 2019-2020 Penn Kemble fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy, and a member of the American Enterprise Institute's Leadership Network. Matt and his family live in Vienna, Virginia.
Amruta Byatnal is an Associate Editor at Devex based in New Delhi. She reports on global health, gender and human rights. Previously, she worked for News Deeply and The Hindu. She is a graduate of Cornell University where she studied international development.
Rumbi Chakamba is an Associate Editor at Devex based in Botswana, who has worked with regional and international publications including News Deeply, The Zambezian, Outriders Network, and Global Sisters Report. She holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of South Africa.
Raj Kumar is a media leader and former humanitarian council chair for the World Economic Forum and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of the book "The Business of Changing the World," a go-to primer on the ideas, people, and technology disrupting the aid industry.
Teresa Welsh is a Senior Reporter at Devex. She has reported from more than 10 countries and is currently based in Washington, D.C. Her coverage focuses on Latin America; U.S. foreign assistance policy; fragile states; food systems and nutrition; and refugees and migration. Prior to joining Devex, Teresa worked at McClatchy's Washington Bureau and covered foreign affairs for U.S. News and World Report. She was a reporter in Colombia, where she previously lived teaching English. Teresa earned bachelor of arts degrees in journalism and Latin American studies from the University of Wisconsin.