National Dialogue | Germany

Reorientation of our food system

Derzeit essen wir über unsere Verhältnisse mit fatalen Folgen für den Planeten.
Derzeit essen wir über unsere Verhältnisse mit fatalen Folgen für den Planeten.

How can more sustainability be achieved in our food system? On this and other questions, around 500 participants at the launch event for the National Dialogue recently developed five key topics: From transparent supply chains, education and framework conditions to regional structures and global responsibility.

The results will be incorporated into Germany's contribution to the UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS) in New York in September. With this, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is launching a longer-term dialogue process that is to continue beyond the summit and work out concrete measures and partnerships for the reorientation of our food system.

The three-day kick-off event for the National Dialogue offered more than 25 presentations by high-ranking representatives from administration, science and business as well as numerous workshops in five thematic areas. The presentations, visualisations of the workshops and the detailed results can be found here. It's worth a click! Specifically, five fields of action were defined for a sustainable reorientation of the food system:

1 Transparency in supply chains from production to processing to the consumer: this goal can be achieved through sustainable production and processing systems, fair food environments, reliable labelling and certification, and the creation of a basis for determining the "true costs".

2 Improved education on sustainable food production and nutrition for all links in the food system, from the producer to the consumer: Education on more sustainability should become a topic in kindergartens, schools, universities and professions.

3 Sustainability through better framework conditions: Legal regulation and financial incentives, such as subsidies, must make their contribution in the right place and to the right extent in both production (agriculture) and processing (food industry). The promotion of research and breeding was mentioned as a priority. In this context, it is important to identify good examples of intelligent cultivation systems and ecological intensification - achievements, in other words, that should be rewarded.

4 Structures (at regional level): The establishment of social and organisational producer-consumer communities is just as much an issue for the successful change process as the acceptance of agriculture in society. Both contribute to moving "from talk to action".

5 Responsibility in the global context: The resilience of food systems can only be improved through a combination of global and regional trade. Global political framework conditions must be created for this. One example is the German Supply Chain Act.

Longer-term dialogue

The National Dialogue that has been initiated is intended to provide impetus beyond the UN FSS 2021 in order to identify, coordinate and implement concrete measures. The BLE will lead this process in coordination with the BMEL. Further activities and events, also at subnational level, are planned from autumn 2021.