World Food Day
About World Food Day
FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.
This year's World Food Day - with the theme "Our actions are our future. Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger world" - takes place in the context of rising global hunger but also increasing overweight and obesity. FAO and its partners believe that affordable solutions to reduce all forms of malnutrition exist, but they require greater global commitment and action.
"Collective action is the high road to tackling a global challenge such as hunger in the world," said Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in his keynote speech.
The Prime Minister gave reassurance of Italy's support for a "vision of integrated agriculture that supports the planet and cultural identity", and stressed the need to understand development "as a genuine international collaboration, as politics in the noblest sense" to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Both Conte and FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu welcomed an announcement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres of the convening of a UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 as part of the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs. Conte proposed that Italy host the event, and was thanked by Qu for the offer.
In a World Food Day video message Guterres called rising hunger "unacceptable" as the world wastes more than 1 billion tonnes of food every year.
Pope Francis in a special message read out at the event, stressed that the "battle against hunger and malnutrition will not end as long as the logic of the market prevails and profit is sought at any cost".
The pontiff urged for a cultivation of lifestyles inspired by gratitude, moderation and solidarity, and the need to promote economic institutions and social initiatives that support the poor.
"We must come to realize that we are accumulating and wasting is the bread of the poor," Pope Francis added.
In his opening remarks, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu warned how "hunger and malnutrition will be major barriers to achieving the SDGs by 2030 if we do not act now!"
The FAO chief stressed the importantce of collaboration and the role everyone needs to play - from governments, food companies, the public sector, research instituions to consumers - to make progress towards enabling healthy diets for all, and to halt and hopefully reverse the current trend of rising hunger, overwight and obesity.
"We need strong political will and commitment. We need to invest in nutrition and for nutrition. We need to walk hand-in-hand and build healthy and sustainable food systems," added the FAO Director-General.
How to make healthy diets available and accessible for all
To address this situation, FAO calls for: better incentives for the world's agricultural producers; easier-to-understand and more comprehensive food labels and responsible advertising to help consumers choose healthier diets; more sustainable trade with clear rules; and a push to think of nutrition as part of food safety.
The private sectors should also re-formulate products to make them more nutritious whilst food companies that produce nutritious foods could be given incentives to make their products more accessible and affordable.
ICT should also be applied more widely along agriculture value chains to create new platforms, reduce urban-rural disparity and the potential of the smart phone as a new farming tool should be tapped for higher productivity.
FAO is working with partners and communities around the world to step up efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 - Zero Hunger and healthy diets.
This includes developing with the World Health Organization guiding principles on "Healthy Sustainable Diets", supporting the implementation of the Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), and providing support for global, regional and national food security and nutrition policies, strategies and programmes.
World food day events in China
Pupils learn to recognize grains in an activity held for the World Food Day at Qiaoxi Foreign Language Primary School in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo by Liang Zidong/Xinhua)
A girl shows a painting made of grains in an activity held for the World Food Day at Qiaoxi Foreign Language Primary School in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, Oct. 16, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Xiao)
China International Food Safety & Quality Conference
Safe food is essential to everyone's health. Around the world, governments and businesses share the enormous responsibility for safeguarding food. This challenging job happens to benefit immensely from multilateral knowledge sharing, collaboration, and dialogue. With a focus on professional education and networking, the China International Food Safety & Quality (CIFSQ) Conference brings global experts together to address critical issues and identify recent advances in science, management, legislation, safety standards, innovative technologies that can make a difference towards enhancing food safety. At the upcoming event in Beijing, up to 700 regulators, scientists, industry executives, and academics are expected to attend including 130+ talented food safety leaders will take the stage to share their insights on the latest developments. We welcome your participation on October 30 – 31, 2019. Register today!