Recap from Food Nation’s Global Food Talk “Facing up to the global food challenge – Everybody has the right to safe, high quality food”
Food Nation hosted the second Global Food Talk on June 7 with opening speeches from the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Rasmus Prehn and Senior Food Safety Officer from FAO, Markus Lipp. The event was held in conjunction with World Food Safety Day 2021. Let’s recap some main takeaways from our speakers.
Food safety and quality have a significant impact on many of the global challenges we must resolve whether they are food-related illnesses, food supply security, or sustainable production. Our global food systems must produce enough safe food for everyone.
The speakers’ overarching message was to share data and best practices across borders to ensure that everyone is committed to making a difference. All speakers highlighted the significance of collaboration by emphasising data sharing, knowledge, and a heavy reliance on traceability. Finally, the speakers unanimously stressed the significance of having the right technological competencies in all aspects of the agriculture and food value chain.
Where food is not safe – humans cannot flourish
With nearly 690 million people suffering from chronic hunger, and roughly 144 million children under the age of 5 are stunted in their growth due to malnourishment, food safety is everyone’s business. Senior Food Safety Officer from FAO, Markus Lipp began the event with an urgent call to address the global challenges of food quality and safety by stating that to ensure safe food for all every day, every single person needs to do their part.
wE HAVE TO TRANSFORM OUR FOOD SYSTEMS. NOT ONLY TO PRODUCE SAFE FOOD, BUT TO DO it IN A SUSTAINABLE MANNER
The next speaker further echoed the importance of saving lives by raising food safety standards. Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn, opened his speech by emphasising that food safety saves lives and therefore we must continuously work to take the lead and be a good example internationally as we have a strong food safety culture in Denmark. The Minister continued by highlighting the importance of sharing knowledge and forming partnerships, reiterating the main message of Dr. Markus Lipp.
Sharing knowledge through collaboration
The executive director of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Nikolaj Veje, together with Christine Nellemann, Director of the National Food Institute at DTU, were the first two guests in the dialogue moderated by Lise Walbom, CEO, Food Nation.
They both agreed, that one of the main reasons for Denmark’s strong agro-food position is our ability to collaborate between private companies, universities, and government agencies. When asked how Denmark can share its knowledge, Nikolaj Veje replied that events like the international World Food Safety Day, as well as their daily contact with organisations all over the world, are crucial. Christine Nellemann shared her perspective, emphasising the necessity of timely and ongoing research in achieving a high level of food safety. She went on to stress the importance of staying current with technological developments and advised businesses to share data and collaborate, in order to maintain focus on the green transition.
Now is the decade for action
The second dialogue session was joined by CEO of GEA Powder & Thermal Separation Technologies, Ulrik Lund Jakobsen and Royal Greenland CEO, Mikael Thinghuus. Food safety and quality are of great importance to both companies either as part of their own productions or as a supplier of technological solutions. Ulrik Lund Jakobsen outlined the significance of demonstrating genuine commitment, not in an estimated way but in a validated way. He further stated that he shares the views on data-sharing from the first session, underlining the importance of blockchain and Big Data, saying that now is the decade to do it.
Mikael Thinghuus of Royal Greenland expressed similar ideas, explaining how traceability and data ownership is a big part of ensuring quality. Accordingly, the subject of traceability is of great significance, not for tracking and penalizing mistakes, but to better people and ensure safer standards. Thus, reinforcing the sentiments shared by all speakers of Food Nation’s second Global Food Talk.
Global Food Talk: Steering the green transition in farming and food – innovative technology as a key driver
This is the second edition of our Global Food Talks, in which we invite high-level speakers from the Danish and international agriculture and food scene to share their insights and actions towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Catch the recap from our first Global Food Talk on May 25 with opening remarks from Food Nation’s patron, His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark here.