Business addresses World Food Summit in Rome
12 June 2002 - Rome, Italy
Statement by Kristen E. Sukalac (International Agri-Food Network) to the World Food Summit: five years later.
I thank you, Chair, for the opportunity to address the World Food Summit: five years later this evening.
The International Agri-Food Network was formed at the time of the 1996 World Food Summit and continues to facilitate informal liaison among the professional organizations in the agri-food chain. Participation is open to any association representing a sector in the agri-food chain at the global level. Sectors that do not have an established, truly international organization may liaise through regional associations.
The intricate links in the food chain - from the supply of agricultural raw materials to the production of food and its distribution - are of primary concern to the International Agri-Food Network and all associated businesses involved in feeding the world. These include companies providing essential inputs, individual and family farms, co-operatives, companies involved in food processing and transport and may range from small and medium sized enterprises to multi-national corporations.
Feeding a global population projected to be 50% higher in 30 years time will require technological innovation and sounder management of scarce resources such as land and water. Increased investment, innovation and good management are key; business activities and international trade need to raise productivity efficiently.
Government actions can have a positive impact on the capacity of the private sector to contribute to food security and sustainable agriculture. All governments must make a clear commitment to open, well-functioning markets, an enabling framework for the dissemination of safe technology in agriculture and food production and science-based food quality standards.
The challenges facing the international community include:
The agri-food industry sectors have a major responsibility in facing up to
these challenges by:
With regard to this last point, business and industry would like to note its appreciation of the opportunities that FAO has provided at this Summit for non-government actors to engage: the multistakeholder dialogue, the parallel Private Sector and NGO Forums and the provision of facilities on FAO premises for side events. We hope that this engagement will continue to deepen and that the modalities tested here this week will be improved. However, dialogue is only a beginning, and cooperative action among all stakeholders in the food chain is now required more urgently than ever before.
Public/private partnerships and mutistakeholder projects have, in recent years,
spread and involved an increasing number of groups. It seems that all of us
here this week have a common goal:
Indeed, multistakeholder processes have already contributed to increasing food security and poverty reduction. Business and industry is proud to have taken part in such cooperation and looks forward to continuing and furthering such partnership initiatives, which must learn from past experiences, both those that were successful and those that were less so.
During a side event today, three of the associations that participate in the International Agri-Food Network shared their experiences of public/private partnership, with the hope of engaging in the dialogue necessary to deepen existing cooperation and find new areas of joint action that will contribute to food security for all. We hope that together we will find ways to exceed the World Food Summit goals.