Researchers from public institutions and researchers from the private sector for the first time had a structured meeting to explore science and innovation opportunities that may enhance UN Food Systems Summit objectives. The Chairperson of the Scientific Group (ScG) of the Food Systems Summit (FSS), Joachim von Braun, the Vice Chairperson Mohamed Hasan, and other members of the ScG held a meeting with scientists affiliated with the food and agriculture related private sector industries. The two-hour virtual meeting was held on March 29, 2021. ScG members Rattan Lal, Uma Lele, Lynette Neufeld, David Zilberman, Elizabeth Hudson, and Kaoru Kaitajima also attended the meeting. More than 30 scientists working in the food and agriculture related private sector and public-private partnerships were in attendance. Representatives of large corporations including Nestle, Meiji Food, Cargill, Corteva as well as those of start-ups, small-scale companies, and digital platforms were present. The meeting was chaired by Robynne Anderson, the Director General of the International Agro-Food Network, and the Private Sector Mechanism of the UN Committee on Food Security.
The Chairperson ScG Joachim von Braun briefed the participants on the FSS processes highlighting the tasks of the ScG. Representatives of the private sector presented the focus areas of the research undertaken by their respective companies. The focus of these presentations was on creating inclusive value chains and the environmental outcomes. Presentations were followed by open discussion, including the scope to tackle property rights issues for food systems transformations.
Chairperson ScG Joachim von Braun emphasized that innovation of food systems would benefit from engagement of academia in both, the public and the private sectors. Further meetings of the ScG with the scientific community of the private sector are planned. The speakers were also invited to submit short briefs to the Scientific Group on the innovations shared during the meeting. Detailed notes on the meeting will be shared on the website of the Scientific Group sc-fss2021.org.