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SP34 - New food policy for sustainable food systems

Convened by Susana Alexandre Dias Brissos (CEsA/CSG, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)

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Food security remains a major challenge in the Global South and within vulnerable groups of the population across the Global North. The structural causes are well identified by the critics of the neoliberal paradigm, who point out that the market mechanisms and the mainstream model of food security exclude significant parts of the population from food production and undermine access to healthy diets, deepening poverty and inequality worldwide and denying the universal human right to adequate food.

Nevertheless, attention has been focused on the urgency of tackling the cyclical constraints created by a succession of global crises, combined with national and/or regional crises, caused by financial disruption, austerity measures, the COVID-19 pandemic, migration, conflict or climate change. The result of both factors is failing to achieve the Zero Hunger target of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with projections showing the same number of people facing hunger in 2030 as in 2015, and rising trends in moderate and severe food insecurity since 2014, as well as in overweight and obesity since 2000.

Facing this gloomy scenario, there's a consensus around the importance of food and agricultural policies and governments worldwide are (re)building their institutional frameworks to underline an integrated food policy for sustainable food systems.

However, the challenges of this task are enormous and there are many ways ahead to ensure the provision of healthy diets to consumers at affordable costs or the fulfilment of everyone's right to adequate food.

This panel aims to present and discuss different points of view regarding the way forward and the political economy and governance impacts and implications of the “old” and “new” policies and strategies for food security and nutrition.