The G20 Meeting on Agriculture ended with the adoption of a Joint Declaration

The G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting, held in Florence on 17-18 September 2021, ended with the approval of a Final Declaration reaffirming the commitment to achieve food security in the framework of the three dimensions of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. To ensure sustainable and resilient food systems, the G20 Ministers reaffirmed their intention to reach the goal of zero hunger, which is also threatened by the consequences of Covid-19. Amid the increase in production, in fact, a quarter of the world population still suffers from food insecurity.

The  G20 meeting focused on the role of research & innovation to increase the resilience & sustainability of agricultural & food systems and the need to share technological knowledge as tools to boost resilience, as well as new breeding techniques & the potential role of digital traceability (art. 7, 12,13). For G20 Ministers, climate change, extreme weather events, parasites, animal and plant diseases and shocks such as the Covid-19 pandemic require coordinated and effective responses. They agreed not to adopt any unjustified restrictive measures that could lead to an extreme volatility of food prices in international markets, thus threatening food security. G20 Ministers renewed their commitment to halve per capita global food waste at the retail & consumer levels and reduce food losses along production & supply chains. All sides acknowledge that food loss & waste (FLW) is a global challenge & requires urgent & collective actions (art. 10). They also reaffirm commitment to implementing the One Health approach to accelerate the global fight against AMR in agriculture and food systems and to prevent, reduce and manage biological threats and risks to agriculture and food security (art. 9).

The Ministers, with the signing of the final communiqué (named as the “Florence Sustainability Charter”), want to strengthen cooperation between G20 members and developing countries on food and agriculture to share knowledge and help to develop the internal production capacities best suited to local needs, thus contributing to the resilience and recovery of agriculture and rural communities. The European Commission, which is currently working on the EU Contingency plan for ensuring food supply and food security (permanent food crisis response mechanism), is expected to publish its communication before the end of the year (more information here).