On day two of the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit, speakers on the “Pushing for International Agreements: The Milan Protocol” panel tackled the world of international trade and agreements related to agriculture.
The panel included a keynote by Luca Virginio, Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation and was moderated by Joe DeCapua, Voice of America. Speakers on the panel included; Richard McCarthy, Slow Food USA; Jonathan Bloom, Author of American Wasteland; Ellen Gustafson, Author of We the Eaters; Laurie Benson, 1% for Women; and Kedar Mankad, ONE.
The panelists highlighted the opportunities ahead, policy challenges, and the need to collaborate and cooperate on international agreements such as the Milan Protocol.
Virginio began with the stark duality that exists on the planet today, “there are more than 900 million people with limited access to food and there are two times as many who are overweight or obese.”
And DeCapua lead the conversation with the importance of food as more than just nourishment, “No matter the topic, food plays a major role.”
“Food is so much more than fuel,” explained McCarthy, “Food is an expression of joy and justice.”
“We the eaters do have power. But that’s not enough. We need laws, regulations, and promotion of bigger ideas,” said Gustafson.
Bloom explained, “the Milan Protocol is calling for a 50 percent reduction in food waste by 2020. Reducing the amount of food we’re wasting isn’t radical. It’s going back to doing things the way we used to.”
And Benson noted the importance of women in the agreement, “We can’t sustain anything if we keep ignoring half of our agriculturalists in the world: women. If women have and are responsible for their land, they grow enough to offer nutrition to their families and communities.”
Mankad expressed his hope for the future, using open dialogues such as the Milan Protocol, “International agreements are the bedrock we can use to move forward.”
“Changing the system starts with us. Every day we decide our life and the life of this planet,” concluded Virginio.