The United Nations Climate Summit is underway in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and food production is emerging as a hot topic. For the first time, the event will include pavilions dedicated to food and agricultural systems, and several industry leaders will be in attendance.
The nonprofit Food Tank, a food industry think tank, is one organization taking part in a series of sessions over the course of the event. Those sessions at the Food4Climate Pavilion include a panel presented by the U.N. and Agriculture Organization on unlocking young farmers’ potential for sustainable food systems, and a program on scaling regenerative food systems featuring speakers from AB InBev, The Nature Conservancy and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. The major issue of food waste is on the docket, too, as speakers will highlight innovative ways that food businesses are looking at food waste and talk about the potential for food waste regulations.
[Read more: "UN Spotlights Food Loss and Waste"]
Global and U.S.-based food and beverage companies will also be on hand at the Food4Climate pavilion inside the U.N. Climate Summit. Impossible Foods, Oatly, Upfield, Enough and V2Food are among the private sector participants.
Another new feature in 2022 is the Sustainable Agriculture in the Americas pavilion, convened by the Interamerican Institute for Cooperation and Agriculture with support from the Protein PACT group. Events at the pavilion include a panel on sustainable livestock presented by the National Pork Board and a session moderated by the North American Meat Institute’s chief strategy officer on the essential dietary contributions of animal-source foods and the optimization of animal agriculture’s environmental impact.
“Most common measures of environmental impact ignore nutrient-density — the contribution of foods to achieving recommended intakes of critical nutrients. Sustainability solutions must ensure sustainable production of animal-source foods, which are ‘brain foods’ for the children our future depends on,” asserted Dr. Adegbola Adesogan, a contributor on the Meat Institute panel and director of the University of Florida Food Systems Institute. “Eating meat, dairy, and eggs improves children’s cognition and growth, and raising animals for food provides livelihoods and is a cornerstone of many cultures, particularly in the Global South.”
The U.N. Climate Summit runs through Nov. 18. Daily updates on the event, also known as COP27, are available on the UN website.