Food Tank: The Food Think Tank

For Global Leaders at COP28, It’s Time To Turn Big Talk Into Big Action

Food Tank: The Food Think Tank sent this email to their subscribers on November 30, 2023.

Hey Food Tank: The Food Think Tank—it’s Dani. The annual UN Climate Change Conference—COP28—is coming up, and this newsletter will be your go-to source for news, analysis, and my perspectives on global food. A quick favor: Encourage a friend to !
Dear Food Tank: The Food Think Tank,

Occasionally, I lose my voice.

It makes sense: I do a lot of talking. Much of my job is talking, whether moderating conversations at live events or chatting with inspiring people on the Food Tank podcast. The whole spark behind our work here at Food Tank is bringing people together—for dialogue.

At the same time, I’m always thinking about what those dialogues lead to. We can talk the talk, as they say—but how do we walk the walk? How do we turn our conversations into action?

For all of us who care about a sustainable and just transition for the food system, we’re about to enter the most important few weeks of the year for building meaningful, tangible, achievable progress.

I'm heading to Dubai, U.A.E., for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, to moderate, facilitate, and speak at more than 30 Food Tank partnered events and dinners at two dozen locations in the city. There, policymakers, experts, scientists, advocates, farmers, young people, and passionate eaters will come together to guide the world forward. If you’re attending COP28, please make sure you fill out our form to receive special invitations to private events on the ground.

I won’t sugarcoat things. Progress takes time. This is COP28, after all—the 28th UN climate conference. It’s taking years of sustained advocacy to demonstrate a truth we all know: That food systems are central to climate.

Two things are both true. We’re moving in the right direction; trust me on that. At the same time, our work is cut out for us.

At COP27 last year, we had the strongest showing ever for food systems at a U.N. climate conference. Food and agriculture were top-of-mind for civil society—organizations, institutions, advocates for change—from dozens of panels to amazing speakers. Meanwhile, I was disappointed that this didn’t necessarily translate into high-level policy decisions. We didn’t see the aggressive, ambitious goal-setting we hoped for, neither from governments nor business.

This year, food is set to be even more central and urgent than ever. Enshrining it in official climate policy is a no-brainer.

Once again, four pavilions will be devoted to food systems: Food and Agriculture, led by our partners and friends at FAO, CGIAR, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and The Rockefeller Foundation; Food Systems, spearheaded by the European Union-backed program EIT Food and a variety of other groups including the Food and Land Use Coalition; Food4Climate, organized by a variety of partners—including youth voices—pushing for a more humane and sustainable food system; and the Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas Pavilion facilitated by IICA, bringing together the global north and south across the hemisphere.

And across many of the country pavilions, hubs, and official stages, an entire day of programming is dedicated to food, on Dec. 10. Last year, the focus was on agricultural adaptation, but this year, I applaud organizers for broadening the scope to food, agriculture, and water.

The COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda, through which organizers are calling on national governments to formally declare support for food system change and integrate food into their climate policy, has real potential for big change.

Another thing I’m particularly excited for is the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Roadmap, which they’ll unveil during the conference.

The roadmap comes after more than 40 investment groups, led by the FAIRR Initiative, called on FAO several years ago to outline a clear path toward the organization’s goal of limiting the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C. You can read Food Tank’s coverage of the roadmap, which was announced last year, here.

As we know, various aspects of the food system are responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. In the energy sector, another area of massive environmental impact, we’re seeing clear priorities and investment strategies to catalyze transformation. Finally, the FAO’s roadmap is laying out these strategies for food systems, too.

The roadmap is not public yet, but we’re expecting that it will make the path crystal-clear for investors and policymakers to step up and translate conversations into action.

Because we need it—desperately.

I’m pleased to see that food and agriculture are continuing to get even more attention on an international scale, and I’m hopeful that COP28 will be a place where we can turn talk into meaningful progress.

This week, in advance of COP, Food Tank brought together more than 100 mission-driven small- and medium-sized businesses, in partnership with Oatly, to make sure they were part of the discussions at the conference. The findings from this event will be turned into a formal paper and presented at COP28.

As I mentioned, Food Tank will be at COP28—and we’re making it easy to follow along, wherever you are.

If you’ll be in Dubai too, here’s a sneak peek of Food Tank’s agenda, which we’re updating in real time. We’ll have an incredible lineup of 150+ speakers, including policymakers like U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, food business leaders, climate journalists, and producers and farmers; plus meet-and-greets and an impact dinner series in partnership with the Forum for Farmers and Food Security, Producers Trust, Unilever, and Pegasus Capital. I also want to recognize the FAIRR Initiative, Natural Capital Solutions Pavilion, The Nature Conservancy, the UN Global Compact Norway, and the Nordic Pavilion for partnering with Food Tank this year on some of our programming.

Also, email me at [email protected] and fill out our invitation form to let me know you’re here—I would love to say hi.

Streaming links will be added to the agenda document (again, you can find that HERE).

And if you’re at home, during the main few days of the conference, you’ll be receiving some dispatches from me in your inbox—with glimpses into my notebook, events to watch, and updates on key progress.

As for a way you can take action, encourage friends and colleagues to sign up for this newsletter, so they’re not left out of the loop on COP28!

Like I said, my throat does get hoarse from time to time. But now is not one of those times! I’m ready to speak loudly at COP28 about the importance of food systems, and I hope you’ll join me in doing so.

Together, we can spark real, equitable, tangible action toward a healthier future, for people and the planet.

Together, we’ll build a more sustainable food system.

Onward,

Dani

P.S. All this is possible thanks to our grassroots family of members at Food Tank. I sincerely thank all our members for supporting what we all believe in, and now is a great time to consider joining or upgrading your membership. Food Tank memberships also make great holiday gifts!

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New On The "Food Talk" Podcast
Don't miss my conversation with Tope Fajingbesi, and agricultural and social impact entrepreneur, author, educator, and the Co-Owner of Dodo Farms in Maryland.

On the podcast, we discuss the highly spiritual nature of agricultural work, how Dodo Farms is bridging the gap between Nigeria and the United States with the crops they grow, and Fajingbesi's plans to create space for women in food and agriculture to connect and build community.

This Week in Food System News
While prioritizing food access, the pay-what-you-can model also encourages consumer autonomy, dignity, and community across a range of socioeconomic groups.

While recognizing that digitalization can facilitate learning—and is here to stay—grassroots movements are asking, how can we use it to strengthen farmers' understandings of ecosystems, relationships with consumers, and even access to native seeds?

Wholesome Crave, a for-profit food company, has become a leading supplier of plant-based meal solutions for large scale dining facilities.

"Among the doom and gloom shine beacons of hope. Just take a look at the remarkable cities and regions drawing down carbon emissions and sustainably nourishing communities," writes Nicole Pita of IPES-Food.

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Twitter
 
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• Food Tank: The Think Tank for Food, 1915 Bank Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, United States


Text-only version of this email

Hey Food Tank: The Food Think Tank—it’s Dani. The annual UN Climate Change Conference—COP28—is coming up, and this newsletter will be your go-to source for news, analysis, and my perspectives on global food. A quick favor: Encourage a friend to ! Dear Food Tank: The Food Think Tank, Occasionally, I lose my voice. It makes sense: I do a lot of talking. Much of my job is talking, whether moderating conversations at live events or chatting with inspiring people on the Food Tank podcast. The whole spark behind our work here at Food Tank is bringing people together—for dialogue. At the same time, I’m always thinking about what those dialogues lead to. We can talk the talk, as they say—but how do we walk the walk? How do we turn our conversations into action? For all of us who care about a sustainable and just transition for the food system, we’re about to enter the most important few weeks of the year for building meaningful, tangible, achievable progress. I'm heading to Dubai, U.A.E., for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, to moderate, facilitate, and speak at more than 30 Food Tank partnered events and dinners at two dozen locations in the city. There, policymakers, experts, scientists, advocates, farmers, young people, and passionate eaters will come together to guide the world forward. If you’re attending COP28, please make sure you fill out our form to receive special invitations to private events on the ground. I won’t sugarcoat things. Progress takes time. This is COP28, after all—the 28th UN climate conference. It’s taking years of sustained advocacy to demonstrate a truth we all know: That food systems are central to climate. Two things are both true. We’re moving in the right direction; trust me on that. At the same time, our work is cut out for us. At COP27 last year, we had the strongest showing ever for food systems at a U.N. climate conference. Food and agriculture were top-of-mind for civil society—organizations, institutions, advocates for change—from dozens of panels to amazing speakers. Meanwhile, I was disappointed that this didn’t necessarily translate into high-level policy decisions. We didn’t see the aggressive, ambitious goal-setting we hoped for, neither from governments nor business. This year, food is set to be even more central and urgent than ever. Enshrining it in official climate policy is a no-brainer. Once again, four pavilions will be devoted to food systems: Food and Agriculture, led by our partners and friends at FAO, CGIAR, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and The Rockefeller Foundation; Food Systems, spearheaded by the European Union-backed program EIT Food and a variety of other groups including the Food and Land Use Coalition; Food4Climate, organized by a variety of partners—including youth voices—pushing for a more humane and sustainable food system; and the Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas Pavilion facilitated by IICA, bringing together the global north and south across the hemisphere. And across many of the country pavilions, hubs, and official stages, an entire day of programming is dedicated to food, on Dec. 10. Last year, the focus was on agricultural adaptation, but this year, I applaud organizers for broadening the scope to food, agriculture, and water. The COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda, through which organizers are calling on national governments to formally declare support for food system change and integrate food into their climate policy, has real potential for big change. Another thing I’m particularly excited for is the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Roadmap, which they’ll unveil during the conference. The roadmap comes after more than 40 investment groups, led by the FAIRR Initiative, called on FAO several years ago to outline a clear path toward the organization’s goal of limiting the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C. You can read Food Tank’s coverage of the roadmap, which was announced last year, here. As we know, various aspects of the food system are responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. In the energy sector, another area of massive environmental impact, we’re seeing clear priorities and investment strategies to catalyze transformation. Finally, the FAO’s roadmap is laying out these strategies for food systems, too. The roadmap is not public yet, but we’re expecting that it will make the path crystal-clear for investors and policymakers to step up and translate conversations into action. Because we need it—desperately. I’m pleased to see that food and agriculture are continuing to get even more attention on an international scale, and I’m hopeful that COP28 will be a place where we can turn talk into meaningful progress. This week, in advance of COP, Food Tank brought together more than 100 mission-driven small- and medium-sized businesses, in partnership with Oatly, to make sure they were part of the discussions at the conference. The findings from this event will be turned into a formal paper and presented at COP28. As I mentioned, Food Tank will be at COP28—and we’re making it easy to follow along, wherever you are. If you’ll be in Dubai too, here’s a sneak peek of Food Tank’s agenda, which we’re updating in real time. We’ll have an incredible lineup of 150+ speakers, including policymakers like U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, food business leaders, climate journalists, and producers and farmers; plus meet-and-greets and an impact dinner series in partnership with the Forum for Farmers and Food Security, Producers Trust, Unilever, and Pegasus Capital. I also want to recognize the FAIRR Initiative, Natural Capital Solutions Pavilion, The Nature Conservancy, the UN Global Compact Norway, and the Nordic Pavilion for partnering with Food Tank this year on some of our programming. Also, email me at [email protected] and fill out our invitation form to let me know you’re here—I would love to say hi. Streaming links will be added to the agenda document (again, you can find that HERE). And if you’re at home, during the main few days of the conference, you’ll be receiving some dispatches from me in your inbox—with glimpses into my notebook, events to watch, and updates on key progress. As for a way you can take action, encourage friends and colleagues to sign up for this newsletter, so they’re not left out of the loop on COP28! Like I said, my throat does get hoarse from time to time. But now is not one of those times! I’m ready to speak loudly at COP28 about the importance of food systems, and I hope you’ll join me in doing so. Together, we can spark real, equitable, tangible action toward a healthier future, for people and the planet. Together, we’ll build a more sustainable food system. Onward, Dani P.S. All this is possible thanks to our grassroots family of members at Food Tank. I sincerely thank all our members for supporting what we all believe in, and now is a great time to consider joining or upgrading your membership. Food Tank memberships also make great holiday gifts! Share this resource: Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram New On The "Food Talk" Podcast Tope Fajingbesi on Finding Allies and Creating Community in Food and Agriculture Systems Don't miss my conversation with Tope Fajingbesi, and agricultural and social impact entrepreneur, author, educator, and the Co-Owner of Dodo Farms in Maryland. On the podcast, we discuss the highly spiritual nature of agricultural work, how Dodo Farms is bridging the gap between Nigeria and the United States with the crops they grow, and Fajingbesi's plans to create space for women in food and agriculture to connect and build community. Listen HERE → This Week in Food System News Pay-What-You-Can Farm Stands Flourish Amidst Soaring Food Insecurity and Inflation in the U.S. While prioritizing food access, the pay-what-you-can model also encourages consumer autonomy, dignity, and community across a range of socioeconomic groups. Read → Agroecology Movements Turn Digitization on its Head While recognizing that digitalization can facilitate learning—and is here to stay—grassroots movements are asking, how can we use it to strengthen farmers' understandings of ecosystems, relationships with consumers, and even access to native seeds? Read → Wholesome Crave: Transforming Large-Scale Food Services for a Sustainable Future Wholesome Crave, a for-profit food company, has become a leading supplier of plant-based meal solutions for large scale dining facilities. Read → Op-Ed | Look to Local Food Policies for Climate Hope "Among the doom and gloom shine beacons of hope. Just take a look at the remarkable cities and regions drawing down carbon emissions and sustainably nourishing communities," writes Nicole Pita of IPES-Food. Read → #FoodTank Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram View web version • Food Tank: The Think Tank for Food, 1915 Bank Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, United States
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