CII FACE, Nourishing Schools Foundation and Food Future Foundation Convene Dialogue to Inform UN Summit

13 August 2021

Press Release

Friday, August 13, 2021 6:09PM IST (12:39PM GMT)

Delhi, India: As food systems around the world continue to recover from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nourishing Schools Foundation, Confederation of Indian Industry’s Food & Agriculture Centre of Excellence and Food Future Foundation today hosted an online Food Systems Dialogue to inform the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place in New York in September. This milestone Summit is drawing on the input of people all over the world to identify sustainable solutions for the future of food.

These organisations co-convened this dialogue as a part of the Coalition Of Partners For Food System Transformation In India, a multi-stakeholder forum established in the context of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 to develop pathways and build commitments for action to set off food system transformation in India.

The Independent Dialogue brought together 27 eminent participants to develop ideas on how to make the local food system safer, stronger and more sustainable for delivering nutrition for children. The Dialogue was chaired by Vinita Bali, Chairperson, CII National Committee on Nutrition.

Vinita Bali, Chairperson, CII National Committee on Nutrition and Dialogue Chair said, “Inadequate/poor nutrition continues to be a challenge for India, and has to be addressed across multiple dimensions – from accessible and affordable nutritious food diversity, and not just calories – to concerted actions for the most vulnerable segments like women and children. This is essential to meet the SDG goals, our aspiration for a “swasth India”, and requires action from the government, both at the national level, from a policy perspective and state and local level from activating programs in partnership with the private sector and development agencies. CII continues to play the role of Convener for this dialogue and action.”

Archana Sinha, CEO and Co-founder, Nourishing Schools Foundation and co-convenor of the Dialogue said, “Promoting the consumption of safe and nutritious foods among children of all age groups is critical for tackling malnutrition in India. This dialogue gave us the opportunity to engage with various stakeholders on the key issues impacting children’s nutrition, the impact of various interventions and how children can take charge of tackling malnutrition.”

Meetu Kapur, Executive Director, Confederation of Indian Industry’s Food and Agriculture Center of Excellence and co-convenor of the Dialogue said, “With Nutrition as a priority, CII continues to strengthen collaborative action towards the goal of ending malnutrition in all its forms and platforms like Coalition Of Partners For Food System Transformation In India could help various organisations work together to scale up interventions that are cost-effective and target-specific towards building a clear and meaningful roadmap for 2030.”

Pawan Agarwal, former CEO, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and co-convenor of the Dialogue said, “It is essential to transform food systems for creating a food secure, healthy and sustainable world. To further this objective, this dialogue helps us look at food systems from the lens of children’s nutrition and the various initiatives that need to be taken to create a lasting change in this space.”

The Dialogue brought together 27 participants for a lively and constructive discussion on how to make the food system in India safer, stronger, and more equitable, from the perspective of delivering nutrition to children.

Many of the insights from the dialogue will inform the development of the India Food System Vision 2030 Report, expected to be published by the Coalition Of Partners For Food System Transformation In India in September 2021.

The Dialogue included a diverse array of perspectives, including from the government, academia, civil society, the private sector and schools. The primary topics of discussion were the triple burden of malnutrition in India for children (being underweight, overweight and/or deficient in micronutrients); interventions by the government, the private sector and civil society to address this as well as Vision 2030 for tackling this issue.

Participants agreed on a number of ways that the food system for delivering nutrition for children can be strengthened. These included the following:

  • Adopting a life-cycle approach for nutrition interventions that targets adolescents, in addition to pregnant women and children under 2 years
  • Adding more content to the school curriculum on health and wellbeing, to build awareness and create behaviour change among children
  • Using mass and digital communication such as online games, social media and television to raise awareness, educate and inform parents and children about better nutrition

The Independent Dialogue is listed on the UN Food Systems Summit website here:

Image courtesy: UN Food Systems Summit 2021