The Good Food Fund (China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation) has been deeply involved in the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) process at multiple levels.
Jian Yi, the Founder and President of the Good Food Fund, served as a core group member of the UNFSS Action Track 2 (AT2) Leadership, leading the Food Environments Workstream in the first wave of game-changing propositions development. After the first wave, the Action Tracks has identified Action Areas and Solution Clusters. Jian Yi served as the AT2 Lead of the cross-cutting Action Area Governance, and served on the panel of Sustainable Livestock Solution Cluster and Alternative Protein Innovation Solution Cluster.
In early February 2021, the Good Food Fund launched the UNFSS-AT2 China Action Hub (hereafter to be referred to as the China Action Hub or the Hub) , aiming to build a national hub to facilitate collaborations among stakeholders in the food space, promoting the Summit in China and contributing China’s best practices to the Summit. A two-way communication channel between policy-makers and civil society practitioners is expected to be built through the Hub.
In the past 6+ months, the food systems community in China has been mobilized like never before through the Hub, through its work on policy innovation, business incentivization, youth empowerment and public engagement.
A series of ten Food Systems Summit Independent China Dialogues convened, curated or supported by the China Action Hub has covered key areas for action for shifting to healthy and sustainable consumption patterns, in synergy with other Action Tracks. Over 200 participants from governments, research institutions, private sector, civil society and youth communities actively participated in these Dialogues, sharing their challenges and practical solutions. Over 100 million people watched these Dialogues through livestream platforms. In addition, many organizations submitted their propositions through the Action Track online public survey.
SMEs are fundamental in efforts to transform the ways we produce and consume our food. The China Action Hub served as one of the official conveners of the Mandarin component of the UNFSS SMEs Regional Dialogues and the global competition. Facilitated by the Hub, over 50 Mandarin SMEs participated in the global competition, two of which were awarded the Best 50 GoodFood4All SMEs. In the Mandarin Regions Dialogue, over 50 SME representatives carried out a heated discussion of the current situation and promising ways to improve their impact, and reached the consensuses that a collaborative exchange platform in the food system was necessary for their shift to sustainability and for the SME positive future development.
Youth empowerment is a top priority of the Summit. The China Action Hub has engaged universities, food educators and youth organizations in China to promote food literacy among youth, build youth advocate network, and develop future youth leaders. Many young people are encouraged to engage with the Summit process, and they will become the backbone of China’s food system transformation. Particularly, the Hub actively promoted the youth-led Act4Food Act4Change global campaign through diversified and localized forms of activities, calling on tens of thousands Chinese youth to sign the Youth Pledge and to vote for the 17 Actions for Change.
Through the above workstreams, a wide range of stakeholders have reached important consensus in the following aspects:
A healthy and sustainable consumption pattern that is plant-forward and respects animal welfare is crucial for food systems transformation. From supporting smallholders to shift to diversified farming and higher animal welfare practices, to improving local food markets and food labeling, all players in the food value chain should work together to create an enabling environment that will nudge positive change on consumption patterns.
Many sectors are involved in the functioning of food systems, such as agriculture, health, market, environment, education and finance. To transform how we produce and consume food in a holistic approach, collaborative mechanisms should be established at all levels to address trade-offs and maximize synergy. Now, the China Action Hub is exploring cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder food governance mechanisms at the city level, aiming to providing a replicable solution.
The above mentioned workstreams in the lead up the Summit by the China Action Hub have showcased the important role and incredible potentials of smallholder farmer, SMEs, food educators, chefs and youth. Focusing on these key action areas, the China Action Hub will continue to incubate action networks and innovative pivot programs to create greater momentum for food systems transformation.
In September, UNFSS will launch bold new actions. In the lead up to the Summit and beyond, the China Action Hub will continue to convene dialogues, uncover good practices, co-create solutions, and facilitate ground-breaking pilots. The 5th Good Food Summit, to be held on September 10-12, will present the outcomes of all levels of engagement through the Hub, and further explore the long-term mechanism to follow up on actions identified by the Summit process.