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In April 2020, @IPESfood released its communique on #COVID19 'and the crisis in #foodsystems: Symptoms, causes and potential solutions". Important reading for all concerned about #FoodForAll & #HealthReImagined
"The COVID19 health crisis has brought on an economic crisis, & is [making worse] an ongoing #foodsecurity & nutrition crisis. In a [few] weeks, COVID19 has laid bare the underlying risks, fragilities, & inequities in global food systems, & pushed them close to breaking point."
"The lockdowns and disruptions triggered by COVID-19 have shown the fragility of people’s access to essential goods and services. In health systems and food systems, critical weaknesses, inequalities, and inequities have come to light."
"These systems, the public goods they deliver, and the people underpinning them, have been under-valued...The systemic weaknesses exposed by the virus will be compounded by climate change...In other words, #COVID19 is a wake-up call for #foodsystems that must be heeded."
"The crisis has, however, offered a glimpse of new and more resilient food systems, as communities have come together to plug gaps in food systems, and public authorities have taken extraordinary steps to secure the production and provisioning of food."
"But crises have...been used by powerful actors to accelerate unsustainable, [BAU] approaches. We must ..resist these attempts, while ensuring that the measures taken to curb the crisis are the starting point for a food system transformation that builds resilience at all levels."
"This transformation could deliver huge benefits for human and planetary health, by slowing the habitat destruction that drives the spread of diseases; reducing vulnerability to future supply shocks and trade disruptions...
"...reconnecting people with food production, and allaying the fears that lead to panic buying; making fresh, nutritious food accessible and affordable to all, thereby reducing the diet-related health conditions that make people susceptible to diseases...
"...and providing fair wages and secure conditions to food and farmworkers, thereby reducing their vulnerability to economic shocks and their risks of contracting and spreading illnesses."

That is the opportunity; and we must seize it. #HealthReImagined #FoodForAll
What is COVID19 telling us about #foodystems?
1. "Industrial agriculture is driving habitat loss & creating the conditions for viruses to emerge."
2. "A range of disruptions are testing the resilience of food supply chains and revealing underlying vulnerabilities."
3. "Hundreds of millions of people are living permanently on the cusp of hunger, malnutrition, and extreme poverty, and are therefore highly vulnerable to the effects of a global recession."
How are food system actors responding to COVID-19?
1. There has been 'a remarkable upsurge of solidarity and grassroots activism has been among the most notable responses to the crisis....communities have come together to plug gaps in the system and help those in need.'
2. "the crisis has offered a glimpse of what new and more resilient food systems might look like. Governments at multiple levels have moved quickly to secure worker protections and food entitlements – often working in concert with civil society...
'... In the highly decentralized Indian system, the state of Kerala has led the way in its response to COVID-19, by ensuring food distribution via free community kitchens run by women's networks."
3. "The crisis has also prompted people to seek new and more direct ways of sourcing their food. Online ordering and home delivery of food and groceries is skyrocketing...and could lead to lasting shifts in the way people purchase their food."
4. "But the crisis is also being used to roll back steps towards healthy & sustainable food systems. The Canadian food industry is rumoured to be requesting a moratorium/delays on..promised measures to curb the marketing of junk food to children & the labelling of unhealthy foods
What is the way forward to transformed #foodsystems?
1. Protecting the most vulnerable immediately - maintain food access and security; strengthen social protection for the most vulnerable; ensure worker and consumer safety - especially food and farmworkers
2. Build resilient agroecological #foodsystems - the 'paradigm diversified agroecological systems is urgent...Agroecology builds resilience by combining different plants & animals, & uses natural synergies.. to regenerate soils, fertilize crops, & fight pests
3. 'Rebalance economic power for the public good - a new pact between state and society' - "Major governance gaps have emerged, first and foremost in regard to insufficient investment in public health, but also in food security...
"... While extraordinary steps have been taken by some public authorities to secure food provisioning, the crisis has also seen many people left wholly reliant on the charity and solidarity of their neighbours – who cannot be expected to provide for their basic needs."
"What has started as crisis response must be transposed into the new foundations of public governance. The political and economic systems that grow out of this crisis must be rooted in multi-level governance, in governance with civil society, in social and economic inclusion...
"..., in redressing poverty-creating processes, & in the long-term, systemic thinking that [allows] us to weather new crises..#Foodsovereignty, which emphasizes democratic decision-making in the food system, & access to land & food producing resources, must be a guiding principle
4. Reform international food systems governance - complete the reforms begun in 2007-8 to assert the principle of democratic civil society participation and focus the 2021 Food Systems Summit on 'resilience and agroecology'
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