By Vatican News staff reporter
The second in a three-part webinar series entitled, “Food for Life, Food Justice, Food for All” took place on Wednesday afternoon involving the Vatican’s Permanent Mission to FAO, IFAD & WFP, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and the Vatican COVID-19 Commission alongside its partners working in food security.
This session looked at “Food Justice: Jobs, innovation, and finance at the service of food justice” and emphasized the importance of dignified work, finance and innovation in rebuilding sustainable food systems, particularly in the post-Covid-19 era.
Participants included a number of high-level experts who addressed the need for a new development paradigm and reinforced the call for an integral ecology promoted by Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si'.
Among the aims of the seminar is to contribute to current global discussions about a just and sustainable post-Covid recovery, with proposals and suggestions for the action plan that will be discussed at the pre-UN Food Systems Summit.
Opening Wednesday’s webinar, was the Prefect of the Dicastery, Cardinal Peter Turkson, who said that “the lack of food is inextricably linked with other social struggles, aggravated by the pandemic. He went on to say that “food insecurity is not simply a lack of food. Poverty, marginalization, lack of democratic political processes, conflict, environmental destruction and biodiversity loss, and the consequences of climate change all contribute to food insecurity, increase inequalities and worsen the conditions of vulnerable communities worldwide, weakening an already broken global food system.”
Re-building food systems
The Cardinal stressed there was an urgent need to re-imagine and re-build food systems, so they “may become more resilient, inclusive and sustainable.” This is not an “impossible enterprise,” he said. “We have the potential to embark on this journey together, taking this unique COVID crisis as a unique opportunity.”
Cardinal Turkson went on to say that “when speaking of this potential, we highlight that which comes from the dignity and efforts of agricultural workers; the creativity and dynamism of technology and innovation; and the support of well-designed and regulated financial markets in facilitating universal access to food.”
Each of these elements, he said, “have something to contribute to all stages of food systems: from pioneering food production and consumption patterns that respect the natural cycles of our common home, to ensuring the resilience of food systems so that they may continue to provide food to everyone through crises such as this one.”
Culture of care
“When organized in light of a culture of care – for each other and for our common home,” the Cardinal underlined, “each of these elements can engage in a fruitful interaction to produce food systems that leave no one behind.”
The three-part webinar series is taking place ahead of the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit gathering in Rome from July 19-21, 2021, and its outcome will be shared as part of the Summit process to help guide individual and collective action towards a future of food that is sustainable, equitable and secure.
The UN Food Systems Summit convened as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the SDGs by 2030.