Malta convenes first ever National Food Systems Dialogue
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Malta convenes first ever National Food Systems Dialogue

Reference Number: 09072021, Press Release Issue Date: Jul 09, 2021
On 9 July 2021, the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs convened the first ever National Food Systems Dialogue. This initiative forms part of the United Nations Food Systems Summit which will be held this year in September. These National Dialogues, which are being held across the world are intended to incentivise our joint commitment towards the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on establishing more healthy and sustainable food systems. 

A video message from the Honourable Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, the Hon. Evarist Bartolo, expressed the Government’s vision and commitment to achieve sustainable food systems which prioritise the well-being of all citizens. The panel was convened by Mr. John Busuttil, Director Global Issues, Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs.  In his opening remarks, Mr. Busuttil outlined the scope of this dialogue, which brought together representatives from various relevant Ministries, the Chamber of Commerce, the Malta Youth in Agriculture Foundation and several relevant stakeholders and NGOs. 

Seven panelists participated in the national dialogue entitled “Lifestyle changes towards sustainable food systems”. The starting point of the discussion was that one of the major problems is that the incidence of child obesity in Malta is very high. In this regard, the panelists addressed the needs of consumers in terms of accessibility, availability and affordability of healthy food for children and the actions that the Government, relevant stakeholders, citizens and consumers can take to make healthy food for children more accessible, available, and affordable. 

After all the panelists addressed the most pertinent questions related to their fields of expertise, the floor was opened for questions and interventions from the public. These interventions were valuable in including the perspectives of a wide range of participants. The dialogue was successful in paving the way towards identifying some of the challenges and the necessary steps which must be taken to develop a more sustainable and healthier food system, with a focus on enabling children and youths to develop a healthy and sustainable relationship with food. 

The concluding remarks were deliverd by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights, Mr. Sharlo Camilleri.  Mr. Camilleri mentioned that the ultimate objective of this exercise is to develop a pathway on how food systems should be functioning by 2030 and to serve as a valuable exercise in preparation for the  World Food Systems Summit in September.

A photo showing the participants of the Food Summit