ILSI Federation Newsletter:
Challenges and Innovations Impacting Sustainability of the Agri-Food Systems
Our newsletter intends to provide an overview of upcoming, current and recent ILSI Federation activities pertaining to Challenges and Innovations Impacting Sustainability of the Agri-Food Systems. ILSI is committed to contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by means of its research activities across the three main pillars of sustainability: people (social), prosperity (economics) and the planet (environment). This newsletter also provides a noncomprehensive overview of relevant activities from other key organizations.
Presented by: Hannia Leon (ILSI Mesoamerica) and Helene Tournu (ILSI Global).
ILSI Federation Activities
ILSI works with researchers from the public and private sectors, as well as academia, on translational and pre-competitive science and health issues to address common interest or concern. Public-private collaboration – where all interests, conflicts and biases are declared, and all funding is acknowledged – can improve the science used to promote the health and safety of the public and the environment. Together with its hundreds of academic institutions from around the world, public sector agencies, more than 300 member companies and civil society organizations, the ILSI Federation develops project proposals that address important public health issues with the highest standards of scientific integrity.
Upcoming and Ongoing ILSI Activities
Digital Technology to Boost Sustainability
Innovative digital technologies, such as blockchain and QR codes, can increase transparency in the food chain to boost sustainability for both producers to identify market options, and buyers to diversify their procurement selection based on quality and ethical criteria. Developing such innovation is the aim of the EU-funded project called TITAN that launched on September 1, 2022, under the coordination of ILSI Europe. If you wish to be part of the stakeholder network of this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustainability in Food Safety in Latin America
ILSI Mesoamerica is proposing to develop a training plan to stimulates the inclusion of sustainable management of a positive food safety culture in all actions and decisions taken in the organizations involved and based on the CODEX Alimentarius General principles of food hygiene (CXC 1-1969 Rev. 2020). Find more information here and check out the first video. Interested? Contact Hannia directly at email@example.com.
Food Systems, a Comprehensive Vision for Mesoamerica
ILSI Mesoamerica is designing and implementing a training program and workshops to address the challenges and the innovative approaches to changing food systems. These trainings will include topics like Climate change scenarios; Sustainable, resilient and regenerative food systems; Alternatives for protein consumption; Regional foods and their functional properties: Opportunities for innovation and improvement of diet quality in the region; Food databases; Malnutrition and hidden hunger in mother-child and elderly populations; Micronutrients: Bases for fortification and supplementation according to scientific evidence; Food safety; Regional food security; Compliance with 2030 and Net Zero 2050 goals. Interested? Contact Hannia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Landscape of Sustainability in Brazil
ILSI Brazil is organizing a symposium to discuss the general panorama of sustainability in Brazil, covering topics such as climate change, sustainable agriculture, food systems, solutions for post-consumer waste, food waste and alternative proteins. Registration will be open soon. This event will be held on December 13, 2022. For more information, please reach out to email@example.com.
The Journey to Sustainability: Managing Transitions for the Food and Agriculture Sectors
This seminar, organized by the ILSI Southeast Asia Region's Australasia Committee, will be held on November 23, 2022. The agenda will focus on sustainability of the food and agriculture sectors with speakers from Australia, Singapore and The Netherlands. The speakers will share scientific development and technological innovations, including agri-genomics, regenerative agriculture, gene editing technology in production of healthier cereal grains and biotechnological innovations for climate change solutions. Contact Sushilachang@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zero Food Waste International Celebration
How to decrease both food waste in households and materials in food processing plants will be the topics addressed during a webinar to be held on September 29th by ILSI Mesoamerica. This initiative pertains to the participation of ILSI Mesoamerica in the Zero Waste National Commission of Costa Rica. More information is available here. To register, please follow this link.
Development of a Composite Index for the Assessment of Food System Performance towards Improved Diet Quality
This ongoing research project, supported in part by the ILSI Southeast Asia Region, is carried out at the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food, University of Philippines, Los Banos. Previous Sustainable Nutrition Security Metrics (SNS) have integrated sustainability into a multi-stakeholder metric that has been applied in both developed and developing countries and has exhibited robustness. The current study examines and compares the utility of the contextualized Philippines-generated index with the SNS metrics in assessing the performance of the Philippine food system. It is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022 for reporting and publication in 2023. To learn more, contact email@example.com.
The Impact of Climate Change on Food Safety, Sustainability, Security and Nutrition
This project is proposed by ILSI U.S. and Canada to bring together interdisciplinary teams to identify challenges to the safety, sustainability and nutritional content of the food supply that can be directly associated with climatic factors, and to tackle the broader question of, 'How can we feed a large and geographically dispersed human population in the midst of unpredictable climatic conditions?' A better understanding of these risks and their likely consequences will allow for proactive changes in how we safely and sustainably grow and process nutritious foods in the future. For more information, please reach out to our ILSI U.S. and Canada team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climate Change and Nutrition & Health Session
ILSI Southeast Asia, ILSI Japan and ILSI Global will invite all interested parties to join them at a satellite session on Tuesday, December 6, in conjunction with the International Congress on Nutrition (ICN-2022, Tokyo, Dec. 6-10, 2022). This interactive session will focus attention on the relationship between climate change, including warmer temperatures, and nutritional innovations and concepts to mitigate heat-associated adverse effects, particularly among vulnerable populations. Stay tuned! For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Understanding the Relationship between Soil Health and Human Health
Product developers and agencies are encouraging the adoption of soil health practices. However, the impact of these changes in food production practices on the safety and nutritional value of crops is not yet well understood. This ILSI U.S. and Canada proposal aims to identify research gaps and priorities, as well as establish an active network with agricultural research stations and nutrition/safety experts to address these knowledge gaps. Would you like to know more? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contaminants in Water
ILSI Brazil is organizing a symposium to discuss and map out the different contaminants present in treated water in Brazil, such as drugs, cosmetics, microplastics, pesticides and metals. This event is scheduled for October 20, 2022. Sign up here.
Nanotechnology - Membranes to Filter Arsenic, Dyes and Antibiotics
This symposium, proposed by ILSI Mesoamerica, will present methodologies to filter water contaminants for safe and sustainable water systems. This online event will be held on November 9th with the participation of researchers from Argentina, Spain and Costa Rica. Register here.
Food Packaging: Safety and Sustainability in the Food System
This symposium, presented by ILSI Global and the ILSI Southeast Asia Region, will be held on November 3, 2022 in Singapore during the 21st World Congress of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST, October 31 - Nov. 3). The packaging session will bring in experts from Europe and Southeast Asia to address novel bioactive packaging that investigates shelf-life extensions; sustainability and safety assessment; the role of sustainable packaging in contributing toward the circular economy. The case study of a sustainable packaging roadmap and regulatory framework in Thailand will be discussed as well. For details about the in-person congress and the ILSI-sponsored sessions, please contact email@example.com.
Recent ILSI Events and Publications
Climate Change and Gender Perspective
This ILSI Mesoamerica's webinar and roundtable with a session of Q&As aimed to present the factors related to the unequal impact of climate change across the population. Data and discussion highlighted the greater vulnerability of women in the face of climate change, and the social and economic consequences that climate change has on women. Finally, we discussed the challenges that Latin America faces due to this negative impact on women, and the possible strategies to reduce the gender inequality associated with climate change. Visit the video recording here.
LIFE, Lifestyle for Environment
The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, gave the mantra of "LIFE – Lifestyle for Environment" while addressing the COP-26 summit with the vision for it to become a mass movement to enable the country to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2070. Within this context, ILSI India organized a roundtable with an expert panel to discuss innovative approaches and mitigation strategies for greenhouse gas emissions in the areas of agriculture, food processing activities, packaging and waste management, among others. Find the report here.
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems for Better Food and Nutrition Security
This two-part webinar series was organized by the ILSI Southeast Asia Region's Philippines Committee on March 15 and May 4, 2022, in Manila, Philippines. Agriculture experts and nutrition professionals from the academic sector, industry and NGOs addressed the farm-to-fork challenges and solutions to food waste; the needs for knowledge regarding agriculture principles to be incorporated into nutrition and dietetics education and practices; the needs in identifying food system gaps to address hunger and malnutrition; the biotechnology and biodiversity contributing to a healthy food ecosystem. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and access selected recordings.
Checking Post-Harvest Losses through Value Addition to Agriculture
This ILSI India roundtable presented some suggestions for monitoring post-harvest losses and improving food and nutrition security. These included: strengthening infrastructure; encouraging processing of foods near farm clusters and at corporate levels; producing processable varieties of foods; increasing exports; using processing technologies that would preserve nutrients and provide safe foods; using appropriate and safe packaging materials and exploring greater use of irradiation for preservation. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Safety and Benefits of Nanotechnology
This symposium organized by ILSI India focused on agriculture, water safety, food & food safety, nutrition and packaging. In the agriculture and food industry context, the overuse of agrochemicals and post-harvest losses are two major pressing issues that need immediate interventions due to their immense environmental and economic consequences. Moreover, nanomaterials' safety and usability concerns have been affecting public acceptance, thereby affecting the global outreach of nanotechnological solutions. Find the report from this symposium here.
Scientific Forum on Food Packaging & SDGs Press Conference
ILSI Taiwan presented the challenges and opportunities for innovation, scientific cooperation and encouraging public-private partnerships to reduce environmental impact in Taiwan. In addition, during a press conference, academics and industry members shared our ambition and efforts on the roadmap to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Learn more (in Chinese).
Scientific Evidence and Myths about Microplastics: Analysis and Innovation
ILSI Mesoamerica's webinar presented the state of the art information about microparticles found in different sources, such as water, soils and food. Experts discussed the materials currently used in packaging, their weight in the environmental impact, as well as the types of analysis and evidence for present and future innovation. Learn more (in Spanish) and check out the recording of the webinar.
Food System Resilience and COVID-19: Lessons from the Asian Experience
This webinar series, conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, was a collaborative initiative between ILSI entities in the Southeast Region, India, Korea and Taiwan, as well as collaborators in China. The resulting publication can be found here. This has a strong resonance today regarding how we think about supply chains and the resilience of the future food system, with a need to consider longer-term transformations resulting from geopolitical conflict, high inflation and slow economic recovery, in addition to changing consumer behavior and managing risks of future disruption. The video recordings can be found here.
From Around the World
The FAO council endorsed a new 10-year strategy on Climate Change and on Science and Innovation to guide FAO's work until 2031, ahead of World Food Day 2022 (October 16th) with the goal to "Leave NO One Behind."
ReSAKSS ASIA presented the International Seminar on Sustainable Food Systems in Southeast Asia Under and Beyond COVID-19. See the video here.
FAO - Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific: Asia-Pacific Symposium on Agrifood Systems Transformation (hybrid event), October 5-6, 2022, Bangkok.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India will hold its World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS 2023) on February 22-24, 2023, ahead of World Environment Day, focusing on "Mainstreaming Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience for Collective Action."
The Think Tank of the Government of India, NITI Ayog, and the LIFE (Lifestyle For Environment) mission aim "to bring individual behaviors at the forefront of the global climate action narrative." From a "use-and-dispose" economy to a circular economy, LIFE aims to deliver behavior change solutions in the sectors of water, transport, food, electricity, recycling and reuse.
EIT, Co-funded by the European Commission: The Top 5 European Food Trends in 2022: Climate decision-making; Regenerative agriculture; Alternative proteins; Young people; Environmental labeling.
European Commission – Findings from an Expert Group: "Everyone at the table: Co-creating knowledge for food systems transformation."
Latin and South America
FAO: A Regional Conference During a Historic Moment is held every two years and brings together the governments of the 33 Member States of FAO in Latin America and the Caribbean to establish the regional priorities of the Organization for the next biennium.
The Technical Standards Institute of Costa Rica (INTECO), which represents ISO in Costa Rica, and its zero-food waste committee (which ILSI Mesoamerica is a part of) presents a world-first norm to decrease food loss. The interdisciplinary group is now waiting for public consultation. More information is available here.
UN Food Systems Summit: Dialogues – A series of dialogues from the Government of Brazil on building resilient food systems and ensuring equitable inclusion.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) supports Brazil in boosting the agricultural sector's sustainability.
U.S. and Canada
USDA defines sustainability and food systems as a required balance of economic, social and environmental dimensions.
An example of recovery and resilience: Local and regional food systems response to COVID as proposed by a cross-agency and sector learning collaboration.
CAPI – Dialogues: In conversation: The Future of the Environmental Farm Plan Program in Canada. See the video here.